The world’s richest man (or second richest, depending on who you ask) has decided whether to pay tax via a Twitter vote. Elon Musk, who goes by the Twitter handle “Lorde Edge,” asked his followers on Saturday if he should sell Tesla shares so that he could “personally” pay taxes. The SpaceX CEO, whose net worth reported to be over $300 billion, stated that he would follow the findings of his poll regardless of the outcome.
“Because much has been made recently about unrealized gains as a technique of tax evasion, I recommend selling 10% of my Tesla shares,” Elon, whose net worth, increased by $36 billion in a single day, last month, said on Twitter. “Are you in favor of it?”
The final findings revealed that 58 percent of respondents were in support of the change, while 42 percent opposed. Musk, who paid no federal income tax in 2018, according to a ProPublica study, has now stated that he is still willing to accept the poll’s results. According to Reuters, Tesla’s Frankfurt-listed shares tumbled roughly 3% after the poll’s results.
Musk points out that “I don’t accept a monetary salary or incentive from anyone. Because I only own stock, the only method for me to pay taxes is to sell shares.” While some on social media have complimented him for being prepared to sell shares to pay more taxes, others, such as US Senator Ron Wyden, believe that Twitter polls should not be used in the tax system. “The outcome of a Twitter vote should not determine whether the world’s wealthiest man pays any taxes at all,” Wyden wrote. “The Billionaires Income Tax is overdue.” “How come your pp looks like you just arrived?” Elon Musk has reacted.
The “Billionaires tax” would require taxpayers in the United States with assets worth more than $1 billion to have their stocks and other assets appraised and taxed annually, regardless of whether they had sold them or not. Owners of these assets are currently only taxed when they sell them and make a profit. Unrealized gains are stocks and assets that have not sold but have increased in value, and they will tax if the Billionaires tax passes. Mr. Bezos earns an annual salary of roughly $80,000, while his unrealized (or accumulated) capital gains from his Amazon stock holdings averaged over $10 billion per year from 2010 to 2018.
“Currently, if Mr. Bezos does not sell any of his Amazon shares in a given year, the income tax ignores the $ 10 billion profit, and he is essentially taxed as a middle-class person earning $ 80,000 per year,” according to the article. Policy and Budget The director of federal tax policy and a tax representative, explaining on Twitter, is at the core of the priority. “This occurs because the tax system currently recognizes only capital gains that have been “realized” – that is, when an asset has been sold – as income, but not “unrealized” profits. Proponents of a Billionaires tax, such as me, argue that taxing Jeff Bezos as if he were a middle-class person with $80,000 in salary is absurd.” Perhaps Twitter polls will fill the void until that loophole is addressed.