Elon Musk says his taxes are simple and that he doesn't use offshore accounts or tax shelters in response to Sen. Warren's 'freeloading' claims

Elon Musk says his taxes are simple and that he doesn't use offshore accounts or tax shelters in response to Sen. Warren's 'freeloading' claims
Senator Elizabeth Warren accused Elon Musk of "freeloading" over taxes in mid-December.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images, Theo Wargo/Getty Images for TIME
  • Elon Musk said his wealth "isn't some deep mystery" and that his taxes are "super simple."
  • He told The Babylon Bee he doesn't use tax-avoidance schemes, offshore accounts, or tax shelters.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says he doesn't use any tax-avoidance schemes, offshore accounts, or tax shelters.

Instead, his taxes are "super simple," he told conservative Christian satire site The Babylon Bee in an interview published Wednesday.

Musk's comments came less than two weeks after he clashed with Senator Elizabeth Warren on Twitter. The Democratic senator had accused him of "freeloading" over taxes after he was named Time's Person of the Year, and Musk snapped back by calling Warren "Senator Karen."

Speaking about the feud in his interview with The Babylon Bee, Musk said he was "literally paying the most tax that any individual in history has ever paid this year" and that Warren "doesn't pay any taxes, basically at all."

"If you could die by irony, she would be dead," he added, explaining that Warren's salary and taxes were paid for by taxpayers.


Insider previously reported that the Internal Revenue Service does not publicly disclose the tax information of individuals, making it difficult to know whether Musk is paying the largest tax bill in history, as he claims. But if Musk chooses to exercise all his Tesla share options expiring in 2022, the taxes on these could exceed $10 billion for this year, according to calculations by Bloomberg.

Musk, who currently tops the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with a net worth of $261 billion, told The Babylon Bee that he could do his taxes himself "in a few hours."

"My taxes are super simple," Musk said. "I do not have any offshore accounts, I don't have any tax shelters."

He added that there were "no elaborate tax avoidance schemes or anything like that."

Musk told the publication that he owned stock in both Tesla and SpaceX and that everything was "extremely transparent." He said that his worth was calculated by multiplying his ownership percentage of the two companies by their valuations.


"My so-called wealth, it's not some deep mystery," Musk said.

He added that he doesn't take salaries or bonuses from the companies because he thought it would be "morally good to not do that."

"My cash balances are very, very low, at least until I sold stock," Musk said. "I simply had loans against my stock, so if Tesla and SpaceX went bankrupt, I would go bankrupt too, immediately."

Musk has sold $15.4 billion in Tesla shares since asking Twitter on November 6 to vote on whether he should divest 10% of his stake, and said Wednesday that he was "almost done" selling stock. He told The Babylon Bee that this quarter was the first time he sold stock "in any meaningful way."

In the interview, Musk also poked fun at the metaverse and criticized California, the state he moved both Tesla and his personal residence from. Musk told The Babylon Bee that the state used to be the land of opportunity but was now known for over-regulation, over-litigation, and over-taxation.