Donald Trump wants to release his tax returns.

He has nothing to hide, and he really would if only he could.

Really.

We know this because for the past three years he has promised he would, it's just that he is being handcuffed by those pesky bureaucrats at the Internal Revenue Service who refuse to wrap up their never-ending audit - one that has topped at least three years in duration.

While no evidence has emerged that Trump's returns are indeed being audited, the president has never given us reason to doubt he is a man who can't be taken at his word.

Fortunately, even with the audit ongoing, the IRS actually has no rules preventing a person under audit from releasing returns - information Fox News apparently failed to pass along to the president.

Regardless, Trump may soon be required to hand over the documents, audit or not.

The Democrats in the House are attempting to use an obscure law to force Trump to reveal his returns, however, the president and his administration are dragging their heels and ignoring deadlines.

Trump could save everyone the hassle and just release his returns, especially since he is squeaky clean.

Not doing so is neglecting 40 years of precedent. The last president to refuse to turn over his tax returns was Republican Gerald Ford - even those criminals Barack Obama and Bill Clinton offered returns to the public.

Many view this as a political attack by the Democrats levied against Trump, and they are partially correct. However, tax documents can provide valuable information to the public, revealing overall wealth, whether a person is paying his fair share of taxes, personal and business activities, and potential conflicts of interest.

It is clear Trump has no plans to release his returns - his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, cemented that when he told "Fox News Sunday" that the president would "never" acquiesce.

The matter will eventually make its way into the courts, and it will be a long, drawn out affair that may not be resolved until after the 2020 election, at which point it would likely have little consequence for Trump, who will be vacationing in Mar-a-Lago either way - as president or businessman.

As the issue winds its way through the courts, state legislatures can do their part by requiring all candidates listed on their presidential ballots to release at least five years of tax returns.

Then Trump and other candidates will have no choice once November 2020 rolls around.

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