Elon Musk donated $5.7 billion in Tesla shares to charity in November. A filing delivered to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday revealed the donation of 5,044,000 shares of the electric carmaker. While the donation recipient is unknown, this makes Musk the second-biggest US donor in 2021 after Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, who gave $15 billion last year. Previous securities filings also show that Musk sold $16 billion worth of Tesla shares in the final two months of 2021, most of which would go into paying an estimated $11 billion US federal tax bill. However, the donated shares are not subject to capital gains tax, and their value could be used as a deduction to help offset the tax bill.

Zoom In: While Tesla has not responded with more details on the donated shares, two likely causes stand out. Musk has established a foundation that gives grants in support of pediatric research and science education, although there are only few details available on the minimalistic website. He was also challenged last year by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) director to make a donation to help solve world hunger. At the time, Musk said in a tweet that if WFP could describe exactly how $6 billion will solve world hunger, he would immediately sell his Tesla stock.

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