Elon Musk kicked off a mass sale of his personal holdings of Tesla after recently asking his followers about Twitter if he had to sell 10% of the company’s shares to pay taxes. According to 10 new documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Published Wednesday, the CEO has already sold at least $ 5 billion in Tesla stock this week.
Elon Musk sells Tesla stock
Musk is selling these shares after undergoing greater scrutiny over his wealth, particularly by currently elected officials. Musk is theoretically tax exempt, since he does not receive a real salary from Tesla, but is rather paid in shares. The CEO therefore does not have to pay taxes until these shares are actually sold, which he has not done for many years now.
However, a government official recently proposed to impose a billionaire income tax, that would tax precisely these increases in wealth, displayed in stocks, as income, despite the fact that they are unrealized gains. This news prompted Musk to post a poll on Twitter last weekend to find out whether he should have sold 10% of his Tesla stakes to pay taxes. The answer was, of course, yes.
The first two documents filed in the SEC system on Wednesday relate to Musk’s previously announced willingness to exercise certain stock options awarded to him in 2012, which he spoke to at Code Conference this year, which suggests that there was a plan already in place before the CEO published the survey on Twitter, as it was already easy to imagine.
Musk now appears to be in the midst of a sell-off of millions of Tesla stock, and while he will have to pay up to 50 percent of that value in taxes, he will still end up getting billions of dollars when the sales are all completed. In short, Musk will no longer be just a billionaire on paper, it seems.