Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he will be paying around $11 billion in taxes this year, which he claims it more than ‘any American in history’.
He made the declaration in response to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s allegation that he’s ‘freeloading’ off everyone else.
Musk has sold off a large amount of stock options this year, which he will have to pay the substantial tax bill.
For those wondering, I will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2021
In 2012, Musk was granted 22.9 million Tesla stock options, of which he has exercised almost 15 million so far.
The remaining 7.9 million will expire in August 2022.
He has also sold a large chunk of Tesla shares to meet his tax obligations.
Because Musk doesn’t take a salary or cash bonus from Tesla, the stock options are part of his compensation plan, meaning his wealth comes from stock awards and the gains in the Tesla share price.
Back in 2012 when he first received the stock options, the shares sat at a strike price of $6.24.
And if you opened your eyes for 2 seconds, you would realize I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 14, 2021
As of last week, Tesla shared sat at $1,222.09 – a gain of just under $28 billion USD for Musk’s options.
As he exercises those stock options, Musk has to pay tax on the gains, which is what has caused this bill that some outlets are predicting could push close to $15 billion.
Musk himself has said his tax bill will be around $11 billion.