By Weston Blasi
Musk, who has been selling billions of dollars' worth of Tesla stock in recent months, seemed to subtweet Sen. Elizabeth Warren -- as 'those wondering' -- in a post indicating he'll 'pay over $11 billion in taxes this year'
Tesla (TSLA) CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is proclaiming, without providing details, that he will pay billions in taxes this year.
In a Sunday night tweet Musk, with more than 67 million Twitter (TWTR) followers, indicated his tax bill for 2021 would exceed $11 billion.
The announcement comes after a public back-and-forth with Sen. Elizabeth Warren over taxes in which the liberal Massachusetts Democrat suggested Musk has been unfairly allowed to skirt federal tax liability. "Let's change the rigged tax code so The Person of the Year will actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else," Warren advocated on Twitter.
"You remind me of when I was a kid and my friend's angry Mom would just randomly yell at everyone for no reason," Musk answered.
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Billionaires including Musk, Amazon's (AMZN) Jeff Bezos, and Berkshire Hathaway's (BRKA) Warren Buffett have faced negligible tax bills for some years, according to a recent report from ProPublica, even as Buffett has complained for more than a decade that his taxes are unfairly depressed, noting that his secretary pays income tax at a higher rate than he does.
Over the past few months, Musk has been selling large tranches of Tesla stock, posing a Twitter poll purporting to allow followers to determine whether he should sell shares.
According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Musk has recently sold nearly 13 million shares of Tesla stock for $13.6 billion -- some of the stock sales had already been put into motion prior to Musk's Twitter poll.
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It's been reported that Musk would be facing a tax bill of around $15 billion, and that could be at least part of the reason he has taken to selling Tesla shares. Musk has also said he doesn't take a Tesla salary, and therefore must sell stock in order to pay taxes.
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Musk, the world's richest individual, has a total net worth of around $266 billion according to Time, which named him person of the year for 2021.
The $11 billion tweet from Musk comes as Tesla is preparing for a busy 2022. The EV maker is set to launch new factories and finally release its much-anticipated electric truck.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 21, 2021 14:04 ET (19:04 GMT)
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