Agree with one small nit pick.A lot of folks are misunderstanding this.
It would be mathematically foolish for Elon to sell any old shares at all to deal with the options.
He ends up with far more shares than he began with if he ONLY pays his tax bill (selling new shares).... even if he sells 10% of total holdings he'd still have slightly more shares than he began with. More below.
Nope. He'd actually pay a lot more tax that way.
He owes short term cap gains on all the exercised options when he exercises them.
The difference between strike and current market price (which is damn near 100% of the value since his strike is incredibly low) is his short term gains at time of sale for all the exercised options.
So he owes that tax for exercising- regardless of how he pays for it.
That sets the new basis value of those new exercised shares to the current market value.
If he sells any of THOSE shares immediately he pays zero additional taxes since he already got the bill for those at current value.
If he instead sells old shares he owes another 20% in long term cap gains on those old share sales.
Selling old shares is worse than selling new ones in this case.
We already knew he'd be doing exactly that- he literally said so last month.
The only difference now is he's talking about selling 10% of total shares.... He only needs to sell about 12.4 million shares to cover his tax bill. 10% of all his shares is either ~17 million or ~19.4 million depending if he counts the exercise shares in his total when doing the 10%.
So he'd be selling roughly 40-50% more shares than actually needed to pay the tax bill at 10% of all shares.
And he'd end up, post tax bill, with something in the 5-8 billion cash left over range.... last we knew he only owed something like 550 million against his borrowing vs shares... so he'd still have 4.5-7.5 billion left over if he paid that off.
Assuming he's not building a Scrooge McDuck vault he'd likely already have some plan for that cash that he thinks is a better idea than holding more TSLA stock.
Elon also will have to pay the Investment tax of 3.8% which applies to income over $200,000 for singles, on top of 20% capital gains tax.