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Elon Musk Sells Another $1 Billion in Tesla Shares to Prep for Largest Tax Bill in History

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO has an estimated federal and California income tax bill of $11 billion waiting for him.


According to financial filings published on Tuesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk sold 934,090 shares of the company worth about $1.02 billion. It's not to finance a McMansion on Mars — the billionaire has said he is prepping to pay what will likely be the biggest tax bill in history.

Theo Wargo | Getty Images

Related: Elon Musk Pokes Fun at Dollar Store Price Hikes

With an estimated worth over $275 billion, Musk is the wealthiest person on the planet. As ProPublica revealed in a report earlier this year, Musk has not previously paid a tremendous amount in personal taxes since taxpayers only pay taxes on income or stock once it is sold.

After exercising options to buy nearly 1.6 million Tesla shares at a strike price of $6.24 per share (granted to him in his 2012 compensation package), Musk’s holdings in Tesla increased to over 177 million shares

Now, Musk is expected to get smacked with the largest single individual tax bill in U.S. history, with federal and California income taxes estimated to top $11 billion, per CNBC. Tax experts say he will need to pay the bill before he can receive compensation of about $23 billion in stock options that will expire in August.

Related: Inside the Strange Relationship Between Peter Thiel and Elon Musk

After Musk was named Time magazine's "Person of the Year," Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted that the government should change the "rigged tax code so The Person of the Year will actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else."