Elon Musk using his charity for tax breaks: ‘Helping his own businesses’ - Hindustan Times
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Elon Musk using his charity for tax breaks: ‘Helping his own businesses’

Mar 11, 2024 10:15 AM IST

Elon Musk's charity had tax-deductible donations of stock worth more than $7 billion in 2020.

Elon Musk, world’s second-richest person as per Forbes, heads SpaceX, Tesla and other companies while also controlling social media platform X (formerly Twitter). The billionaire also runs a charity with billions of dollars which has largely been “self-serving — making him eligible for enormous tax breaks and helping his businesses,” a report claimed. The charity had tax-deductible donations of stock worth more than $7 billion in 2020, making it one of the largest in the country, New York Times reported.

Elon Musk is seen. (Reuters)
Elon Musk is seen. (Reuters)

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But Elon Musk has not hired any staff for his foundation which is being handled by a board that consists of himself and two volunteers. One of the volunteers puts as little as six minutes per week on the charity, the report added. In 2022, the charity gave away $160 million, $234 million less than the law required. This marked the fourth-largest shortfall of any foundation in the country, the report claimed.

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Although Elon Musk is under no obligation to have a charity, “he set up a nonprofit and filled it with tax-deductible gifts”, it added. Elon Musk was required by law to ensure that his foundation served the public but the report found that what his foundation gave in 2021 and 2022, about half of it was linked to Elon Musk, one of his employees or one of his businesses.

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These donations included a $55 million help for a major SpaceX customer to meet a charitable pledge, Cameron County fund and donations to two schools closely tied to his businesses. As per the report, Benjamin Soskis, who studies philanthropy at the Urban Institute said, “The really striking thing about Musk is the disjuncture between his outsized public persona, and his very, very minimal philanthropic presence."

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