Celebrity entrepreneur and the world’s richest person Elon Musk has allowed his online followers to decide whether or not he will pay taxes.
Yesterday the billionaire opened up a poll to his 62.5m Twitter followers and asked them to decide whether he should sell off ten per cent of his Tesla stock, a move that would require him to pay capital gains tax.
In a Tweet, Musk wrote “much is made lately of unrealised gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10 per cent of my Tesla stock.”
The poll closed with over 3.5m respondents, with 57.9 per cent voting in favour of the proposed sell off.
Musk confirmed that he intended to “abide by the results… whichever way it goes.” The Twitter world now waits to hear from the man himself.
It comes as the US’ ruling Democrats party mulls a “billionaires’ tax” which will affect some 700 ultra-rich individuals who would be required to pay taxes on long-term capital gains on tradable assets, whether or not they have been sold.
Musk confirmed that without selling stock he will not personally need to pay any taxes.
“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,” he revealed.
Musk owns approximately 170.5m Tesla shares and selling 10 per cent of his stock would make him $21bn based on Friday’s closing price.
Musk recently offered to sell $6bn in Tesla stock and donate it to the World Food Program (WFP) if the organisation could provide a detailed roadmap of how the money would be used.
The stunt followed comments by the executive director of the United Nations’ World Food Programme who said that world hunger could be ended with just two per cent of Musk’s wealth.