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The billionaire business mogul Mark Cuban tweeted Monday that there was “no way” President Donald Trump’s 2016 tax returns were under audit.
Trump “has to file taxes by tomorrow like all of us,” Cuban said ahead of Tax Day on Tuesday. “No way he is under audit for this year. Where are his new tax returns?”
But Trump’s 2016 tax returns will be under audit once filed, and the reason could provide Trump a rationale for not releasing his tax returns for the remainder of his presidency.
IRS rules state that both the president’s and vice president’s tax returns are given a full, mandatory, fast-tracked audit.
A Twitter user pointed the rule out to Cuban.
“Isn’t it a rule in the manual as opposed to a law?” Cuban replied. “Meaning he could rescind it or just ask them not to comply?”
Cuban wrote that it was important for Trump to release his tax returns “now more than ever.”
“New year,” he tweeted. “New opportunity to keep a campaign promise of transparency.”
Having tax returns audited by the IRS, as Trump has said he is, does not preclude someone from making the information public. Several prominent Democrats have promised to not engage with the GOP on tax reform, the next point on the Trump administration’s policy agenda, until Trump releases his returns.
Numerous rallies were held nationwide on Saturday to push Trump to release his tax returns, which he refused to do during the campaign, breaking with more than four decades of tradition for major-party candidates.
Trump took aim at the rallies on Twitter, firing off a pair of tweets attempting to disparage them.
“I did what was an almost an impossible thing to do for a Republican-easily won the Electoral College!” he wrote. “Now Tax Returns are brought up again?”
“Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday,” he said in a subsequent tweet. “The election is over!”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said during Monday’s press briefing that the president’s most recent tax returns were still under audit, which was the reasoning Trump first used more than a year ago for why he would not release them.
“We’re under the same audit that existed,” Spicer said. “So nothing has changed.”
Asked if the president would ask the IRS to comment on the audit to prove it exists and provide a timeline for its completion, Spicer dodged.
“I think the president’s view on this has been very clear from the campaign, and the American people understood it when they elected him in November,” he said.