décembre 8, 2021

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Do I have to sell stock to pay taxes?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk should sell 10% of his shares in Tesla (worth around €18 billion), according to 57.9% of people who voted in his Twitter poll asking users of the social network if he should divest the stake.

It comes after US Senate Democrats unveiled a proposal to tax billionaires’ stocks and other tradable assets to help fund President Joe Biden’s social spending agenda and plug a loophole that allowed them to defer capital gains taxes indefinitely.

« A lot of unrealized gains have been made lately as a means of tax evasion, so I’m suggesting I sell my 10% of Tesla stock, » said Elon Musk.

He added that he does not take a salary in cash or a bonus « from anywhere », and only has stock. « So the only way for me to pay taxes in person is to sell the shares. »

The world’s richest person said he would cheer stocks if Twitter users supported the move. The poll received more than 3.5 million votes.

« I was willing to accept either outcome, » Musk said after voting ended today.

He had previously criticized the Democrats’ proposal, saying, « In the end, other people run out of money and then they come for you. »

As of June 30, Musk’s stake in Tesla is about 170.5 million shares and a 10% sale would reach nearly $21 billion (18 billion euros), according to Reuters calculations.

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Including stock options, Musk owns a 23% stake in Tesla, the world’s most valuable car company whose market capitalization recently exceeded $1 trillion. He also owns other valuable companies including Space X.

His brother Kimbal Musk sold 88,500 shares of Tesla stock last Friday, becoming the latest member of the board of directors to unload a significant number of record-high Tesla shares.

A week ago, Musk tweeted that he would sell $6 billion (5.1 billion euros) of Tesla stock and donate it to the United Nations World Food Program, provided he discloses more information about how his money is being spent.