According to SEC documents, Elon Musk donated $5.74 billion worth of Tesla shares to a charity last November.
The organization's name is not mentioned in the filing Musk filed with the SEC on Monday. The donation made Musk America's second-biggest donor last year, behind Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, according to Chronicle of Philanthropy data.
"Huge Tax Advantage"
As can now be seen, the donation went hand in hand with the much-discussed sale of shares by the Tesla boss at the beginning of November, when Musk had parted with ten percent of his shares after a survey of his followers on Twitter – apparently also to avoid being accused of tax avoidance.
Musk had previously stated that due to a lack of ongoing salaries, he could only pay his tax debts by selling shares. Exercising stock options from the electric car maker would result in over $11 billion in taxes due in 2021.
However, the large donation that followed shortly afterwards had a favorable tax effect. The donated shares are not subject to capital gains tax. He can also offset the donated amount against his income, according to Bob Lord of the Institute for Policy Studies, which deals with tax policy: "His tax benefit would be huge. He would save between 40 and 50 percent of the $5.7 billion in taxes, depending after whether he can offset the deduction against his California income and he would avoid capital gains tax."
Musk Foundation promotes artificial intelligence
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Musk currently has a net worth of $227 billion, well ahead of runner-up Jeff Bezos with $180 billion.
So far, the multi-billionaire had not attracted attention with large donations. His Musk Foundation supports, among other things, the "development of secure artificial intelligence for the benefit of mankind". She has also pledged $100 million for technology to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere. Last year, schools in Cameron County, Texas, a site of his space company SpaceX, received $20 million and the city of Brownsville received $10 million.