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Elon Musk says he will pay more than $11 billion in taxes this year

ProPublica on how billionaires avoid taxes
ProPublica investigation reveals how little some of the wealthiest Americans pay in income taxes 09:52

Elon Musk said he will pay more than $11 billion in taxes this year, a week after taking to Twitter to say he will face the largest tax bill out of "any American in history." Earlier this year, the Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder became the first person in the world to reach a net worth of more than $300 billion.

"For those wondering, I will pay over $11 billion in taxes this year," he tweeted on Sunday night. 

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

Musk responded by saying if she "opened her eyes for 2 seconds," she would "realize I will pay more taxes than any American in history this year." 

Warren's tweet came as congressional members debate the possibility of a tax on billionaires, a move that Democrats, including Warren, have spent the better part of the year pushing. Such a tax was proposed to be included in the Build Back Better plan, which would have affected those who have more than $1 billion in assets or those with incomes of more than $100 million for three consecutive years. The tax, which Forbes reports has since been replaced, would have applied to roughly 700 of the nation's wealthiest, including Musk. 

In October, Musk became the first person in the world to have a net worth greater than $300 billion. His net worth is greater than the annual GDP of Finland, Chile and Vietnam, as well as the market value of Netflix. And over the past several weeks, Musk has been selling millions of shares of his Tesla shares, earning billions of dollars more. 

The emphasis on Musk's income comes amid speculation of his past tax filings. In June, a ProPublica investigation found that while Musk's wealth had grown by nearly $14 billion from 2014 to 2018, he paid $68,000 in federal income tax in 2015, $65,000 in 2017 and none in 2018. Between 2014 and 2018, the investigation found, he had a true tax rate of 3.27%. 

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