(BFM Bourse) – Described as a profiteer by Senator Elizabeth Warren, the richest man in the world (according to his current stock market heritage), told the conservative site Babylon Bee that he was going to pay more taxes than any individual has paid in all of history.
“If it were possible to die of irony, it would be the case here!”. During an interview granted to the satirical site Babylon Bee (available in podcast), Elon Musk, who became this year thanks to the soaring price of Tesla, the richest person in the world – at least by his stock market heritage – did not not deprived of firing a new salvo in the controversy between him and Elizabeth Warren, via social networks.
Last week, the Democratic Senator called on Twitter to “change the rigged tax code so that the Person of the Year actually pays taxes and stops taking advantage of everyone,” in obvious reference to Elon. Musk, designated Person of the Year by magazine Time.
“For those wondering,” the Tesla founder replied on Sunday through the same channel, “I will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year.” At the time of this declaration, his financial assets amounted to 243 billion dollars, essentially composed of his shares in Tesla and in the Space Exploration Technologies Corp., SpaceX. Elon Musk does not receive a cash salary and only derives his compensation from shares awarded to him under a stock option plan.
Tuesday, the leader lent himself for almost an hour to an interview with the founders of the site (usually satirical like the Gorafi in France but with a conservative and Christian sensitivity claimed) Babylon Bee. Addressing political as well as technological subjects, he notably underlined that he was actually preparing to pay, this year, more taxes than any individual “has ever paid in all history” . “While [parlant d’Elizabeth Warren] does not pay taxes or hardly any and that his salary is paid by taxpayers, such as me. If you could die of irony, you would…”
Asked about how, in practice, his tax return was going, he even assured that a few hours were enough for him to fill out the forms. “It’s actually not very complicated. I don’t have an offshore account, no tax shelters [réductions d’impôt]I basically have Tesla and SpaceX shares, Tesla is listed and SpaceX easily valued according to what outside investors bring, everything is extremely transparent, I don’t use elaborate tax schemes…”.
Elon Musk also indicated that he had now generally achieved his objective of selling around 10% of the capital of Tesla, as he had publicly announced the project last November, precisely in order to be able to pay his taxes.
After a historic peak at nearly $1,250 in early November, Tesla’s share price has since lost nearly 29% since Elon Musk submitted to his followers his plan to sell 10% of the shares, falling to just under $900 on Monday (before rebounding 4.3% on Tuesday).
The incentive plan allocated to the manager provides for a deadline by August 2022 to convert approximately 22.9 million shares, failing which he would lose all rights to these securities. It would cost him $143 million to exercise these options and incur nearly $9 billion (at the current share price, with tax due upon exercise of the option on the difference between the exercise price and course at that time).
Guillaume Bayre – ©2022 BFM Bourse