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Zuckerberg Selling Facebook Shares to Pay Off Hefty Tax Bill

Zuckerberg Selling Facebook Shares to Pay Off Hefty Tax Bill
Image credit: abcnews.go.com

Next time you kvetch to your accountant about how much you have to pay the IRS, think about how Mark Zuckerberg feels.

The Facebook founder is exercising an option he has to buy 60 million shares, valued at $3.33 billion, in his company. But, given how little he has to pay for those shares, he is going to face big taxes on the gains.

How much? Well, he has to turn around and sell 41,350,000 of those shares in a public offering, raising roughly $2.3 billion, just to pay his tax bill. 

Zuckerberg will get a tax break in one regard: He is donating 18 million shares, valued at roughly $1 billion, to charity. One assumes that leads to a fairly healthy deduction (though, like more and more of us, no doubt he is subject to the AMT).

Ray Hennessey is Editorial Director of Entrepreneur.com.

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