Elon Musk: Now pays taxes too
Photo: Frederic J. BROWN / AFP
Elon Musk has announced that it will pay US $ 11 billion in taxes this year.
The news came - not entirely untypical for Musk - on Twitter.
In a second tweet, the richest man in the world and Tesla boss wrote that this was "more than anyone in the history of America."
The amount mentioned comes very close to several bills, including those from CNBC and Bloomberg, which assumed a sum between ten and twelve billion dollars.
For years Elon Musk hardly paid any income tax.
According to research by the nonprofit medium ProPublica, he should not have paid any income tax in 2018.
The reason: The US tax system, in which income tax is only payable on actual income, but not on asset growth on paper through stock gains or rising property prices.
Arguing with Sanders and Warren
Because he hardly paid any taxes, Musk repeatedly came into conflict with politicians.
On Twitter, he engaged in public quarrels with the Democrats Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Warren last called him a "free rider," among other things because Musk's company has been government sponsored in the past.
The fact that the manager has to pay taxes this year is because he has now redeemed some of his stock options in Tesla.
He announced the action in November on Twitter with a poll.
The users of the social network should vote on whether Musk should sell ten percent of his Tesla shares.
57.9 percent of the participants voted to sell.
Musk himself had described the sale as his only option to pay taxes.
The production caused criticism: "Whether the richest man in the world pays taxes at all should not depend on the result of a Twitter poll," wrote the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, the Democratic Senator Ron Wyden.
However, some observers assume that Musk should have sold the shares regardless of the outcome of the survey.
For his position as Tesla boss, Musk is only paid in stock options, he does not receive a classic salary.
If the company achieves targets, it is allowed to buy a set number of shares annually at a previously set price.
In the case of Tesla, a coup: the value of the shares has now risen by around 20,000 percent.
However, this option is only valid for ten years.
Therefore, Musk has to redeem the options granted in 2012 by 2022 - and pay taxes on the profits.
Overall, Musk's net worth is estimated at $ 243 billion.