Voters in a Twitter poll urged Elon Musk to sell 10% of his stake in Tesla to pay taxes.
More than 3.5 million Twitter users voted in the poll, launched by Musk on Saturday, with nearly 58% in favor of the share sale.
The vote could see him divest nearly $ 21 billion (£ 16 billion) of shares in the electric carmaker.
He promised to stick to the result, in response to a “billion-dollar tax” proposed by US Democrats.
But Musk, one of the richest men in the world, has not yet publicly commented on the verdict, nor how and when he will sell his stake.
If he goes ahead with the sale, it could leave him with a huge tax bill.
When divesting large holdings, some CEOs use so-called “blind” selling programs, spreading the sale over an extended period of time to avoid insider trading allegations.
In an earlier tweet on Saturday, Musk said he has received no salaries or bonuses from any of his companies, meaning he has no earnings to pay income tax on.
But he made billions of dollars through a compensation package, which gives him the power to exercise large amounts of stock options when the company meets its performance targets and its stock reaches certain prices.
There has been a lot of talk lately about unrealized gains as a means of tax avoidance, so I propose to sell 10% of my Tesla stock.
Do you support this?
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 6, 2021
Musk has an option, which expires in August next year, to buy 22.86 million Tesla shares at $ 6.24 each, a fraction of Tesla’s closing share price on Friday of $ 1,222.
Under plans proposed by the Democratic Party in the Senate, billionaires could be taxed on “unrealized profits” when their share price rises, even if they don’t sell any of their shares.
It is thought that the proposed capital gains tax, regardless of whether the assets have been sold or not, could affect an estimated 700 billionaires in the United States. Critics have pointed out that the value of assets does not always go up.
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Musk’s recent Twitter poll raised some concerns in the world of finance.
“We are seeing the Twitter masses deciding the outcome of a $ 25 billion coin toss,” Venture investor Chamath Palihapitiya tweeted.
“I’m looking forward to the day when the richest person in the world who pays some taxes won’t be dependent on a Twitter poll,” tweeted Berkeley economist Gabriel Zucman.
Mr Musk is one of the most popular business leaders on Twitter, with nearly 63 million followers.
It regularly uses the platform to share updates from companies it owns, including SpaceX and Neuralink. He is also known for sharing memes, increasing his popularity among fans.
But some posts have sparked controversy.
Earlier this year, he tweeted in response to a claim made by the head of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) that only 2% of Musk’s wealth could help solve world hunger.
In October, Musk said he would sell $ 6 billion in Tesla stock and donate it to WFP, provided he could describe “exactly how $ 6 billion will solve world hunger.”
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