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Elon Musk asks Twitter followers whether he should sell 10% of Tesla stock

The world's richest person had previously said he could face a "massive" tax bill this year as he has to exercise a large number of stock options coming due next year.

By: Reuters |
November 7, 2021 11:52:19 am
Elon Musk said that he will abide by the results of the Twitter poll, whichever way it goes. (Bloomberg)

Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk on Saturday asked his 62.5 million followers on Twitter in a poll if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock.

The world’s richest person had previously said he could face a “massive” tax bill this year as he has to exercise a large number of stock options coming due next year.

“Note, I do not take a cash salary or bonus from anywhere. I only have stock, thus the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell stock,” Musk said on Twitter on Saturday.

“Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock,” he said, referring to a “billionaires’ tax” proposed by Democrats.

Musk has criticized the proposal, which would affect 700 billionaires and impose taxes for long-term capital gains on tradable assets, whether or not they have been sold.

Musk said that he will abide by the results of the poll, whichever way it goes.

The poll received near 2 million responses in seven hours after he posted it, with 55% of respondents approving the proposal to sell the shares.

The poll is scheduled to end around 3 p.m. ET (2000 GMT) on Sunday.

Musk’s shareholding in Tesla comes to about 170.5 million shares as of June 30 and selling 10% of his stock would amount close to $21 billion based on Friday’s closing, according to Reuters calculations.

His tweet raised some eyebrows in the world of finance.

“We are witnessing the Twitter masses deciding the outcome of a $25B coin flip,” Venture investor Chamath Palihapitiya wrote on Twitter.

“Looking forward to the day when the richest person in the world paying some tax does not depend on a Twitter poll,” Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman tweeted.

Musk got into trouble with a tweet about taking Tesla private in 2018.

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