Billionaire business mogul Mark Cuban took aim at president Trump Monday, tweeting that there was “no way” Trump’s 2016 tax returns were under audit.
“Trump has to file taxes by tomorrow like all of us,” Cuban tweeted just one day before Tuesday’s “Tax Day.”
“No way he is under audit for this year. Where are his new tax returns?”
Is Mark Cuban right?
Once Trump files his tax returns from 2016, they will be under audit. This gives Trump rationale for not releasing his tax returns because he can argue that they are under audit.
Trump is technically not wrong to use that argument, either. Tax attorneys who spoke with Law Newz said they would advise their clients not to release taxes in the midst of an audit.
IRS rules and procedures also clearly state that both the president’s and vice president’s tax returns are given a “full, mandatory, fast-tracked audit annually.”
Someone on Twitter said that to Mark Cuban in response to his tweets calling Trump out.
“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 argued that it was vital for Trump to release his tax returns “now more than ever.”
“New year,” he tweeted. “New opportunity to keep a campaign promise of transparency.”
Cuban is not wrong to argue for transparency, but he is wrong to argue that Trump doesn’t have the legal right to keep his taxes private until the audit is finished.
Trump refusing to release any of his tax returns can more than likely be attributed to two things: he is not as rich as he claims and/or he has done shady business deals he wants to keep hidden.
It is also possible he has done nothing wrong and is following the advice of his lawyers.
On Monday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked about the president’s most recent tax returns and if they were still under audit.
“We’re under the same audit that existed,” Spicer replied. “So nothing has changed.”
Spicer was then asked if Trump would direct the IRS to provide a comment to corroborate that Trump’s taxes are under audit, but 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.
Cuban should keep pressing Trump to remain transparent. Trump has a long history with Cuban, and the two have exchanged barbs several times on Twitter before.
Pressure from influential voices may force results.