Official: Trump's 'big announcement' on tax to be broad principles

WASHINGTON, April 22 (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's promised "big announcement" next week on overhauling the U.S. tax code, a top campaign pledge, will consist of "broad principles and priorities," an administration official said on Saturday.

The president unexpectedly said on Friday at a Treasury Department event that there would be "a big announcement on Wednesday having to do with tax reform."

In a Twitter message on Saturday, he wrote: "Big TAX REFORM AND TAX REDUCTION will be announced next Wednesday."

Asked for details, the administration official, who asked not to be identified, said, "We will outline our broad principles and priorities" on Wednesday.

See images from a recent protest:

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Anti-Trump Tax March crowd size
People march demanding President Donald Trump release his tax returns, in New York, U.S., April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
People march demanding President Donald Trump release his tax returns, in New York, U.S., REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
People march demanding President Donald Trump release his tax returns, in New York, U.S., REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15: Activists take part in a Tax Day protest on April 15, 2017 in New York City. Thousands of activists march to Trump Tower to demand that President Donald Trump release his tax returns. Photo by VIEWpress/Eduardo MunozAlvarez
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15: Activists take part in a Tax Day protest on April 15, 2017 in New York City. Thousands of activists march to Trump Tower to demand that President Donald Trump release his tax returns. Photo by VIEWpress/Eduardo MunozAlvarez
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15: People take part in a Tax Day protest on April 15, 2017 in New York City. Thousands of activists march to Trump Tower to demand that President Donald Trump release his tax returns. Photo by VIEWpress/Eduardo MunozAlvarez
MIDTOWN MANHATTAN, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2017/04/15: Demonstrators in New York City rallied at Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan before march to Trump Tower as part of a nationwide series of demonstrations to demand the release of President Donald J. Trump's past income tax returns. The march coincides with the deadline for filing 2016 income tax returns in the United States. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15: Activists take part in a Tax Day protest on April 15, 2017 in New York City. Thousands of activists march to Trump Tower to demand that President Donald Trump release his tax returns. Photo by VIEWpress/Eduardo MunozAlvarez
MIDTOWN MANHATTAN, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2017/04/15: Demonstrators in New York City rallied at Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan before march to Trump Tower as part of a nationwide series of demonstrations to demand the release of President Donald J. Trump's past income tax returns. The march coincides with the deadline for filing 2016 income tax returns in the United States. (Photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Demonstrators hold signs and march towards City Hall during the Tax March Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Saturday, April 15, 2017. The Tax March is an organized nation wide protest, held on the traditional deadline date to file taxes, that seeks to promote transparency by calling on U.S. President Donald Trump to release his personal tax returns. Photographer: Troy Harvey/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Demonstrators hold signs and march towards City Hall during the Tax March Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Saturday, April 15, 2017. The Tax March is an organized nation wide protest, held on the traditional deadline date to file taxes, that seeks to promote transparency by calling on U.S. President Donald Trump to release his personal tax returns. Photographer: Troy Harvey/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES - APRIL 15: Demonstrators participate in a march and rally to demand President Donald Trump release his tax returns in Chicago, Illinois, United States on April 15, 2017. 15 April is the traditional day that US federal income taxes are due unless the date falls on a weekend. Similar protests were planned in cities across the country. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES - APRIL 15: Demonstrators participate in a march and rally to demand President Donald Trump release his tax returns in Chicago, Illinois, United States on April 15, 2017. 15 April is the traditional day that US federal income taxes are due unless the date falls on a weekend. Similar protests were planned in cities across the country. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES - APRIL 15: Demonstrators participate in a march and rally to demand President Donald Trump release his tax returns in Chicago, Illinois, United States on April 15, 2017. 15 April is the traditional day that US federal income taxes are due unless the date falls on a weekend. Similar protests were planned in cities across the country. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES - APRIL 15: Demonstrators participate in a march and rally to demand President Donald Trump release his tax returns in Chicago, Illinois, United States on April 15, 2017. 15 April is the traditional day that US federal income taxes are due unless the date falls on a weekend. Similar protests were planned in cities across the country. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15: People participate in a Tax Day protest on April 15, 2017 in New York City. Activists in cities across the nation are marching today to call on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
Protestors take part in the 'Tax March' to call on US President Donald Trump to release his tax records on April 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Protestors take part in the 'Tax March' to call on US President Donald Trump to release his tax records on April 15, 2017 in New York. / AFP PHOTO / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15: People participate in a Tax Day protest on April 15, 2017 in New York City. Activists in cities across the nation are marching today to call on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 15: Tax Day demonstrators march to the Lincoln Memorial April 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. Activists gathered in cities nationwide to demand President Donald Trump release his tax returns. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
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Trump has struggled as president to advance his domestic policy agenda, including on taxes, even though his Republican Party controls both chambers of Congress. With his 100th day in office only a week away, he has yet to offer any formal legislation or win passage of a major bill he favors.

Most recent presidents had legislative wins under their belts by this time in their administrations.

Under U.S. law, only Congress can make significant tax law changes, though the president often drives the tax agenda by offering legislation. The administration official said, "We are moving forward on comprehensive tax reform that cuts tax rates for individuals, simplifies our overly complicated system and creates jobs by making American businesses competitive."

As a candidate, Trump raised high expectations in financial markets and the business community for changes in the complex, loophole-riddled tax system. In his "Contract with the American Voter," he vowed to work with Congress on tax legislation "within the first 100 days of my administration." The action plan promised large tax cuts for the middle class and businesses, a reduction of tax brackets to three from seven, simplified tax forms and an offshore profits repatriation tax holiday.

Since then, no legislation or formal tax plan has been presented by Trump. He has at times expressed support for a plan drawn up by House of Representatives Republicans, but his views are unclear on a section that deals with taxing imports.

In February, Trump promised a "phenomenal" tax plan within a few weeks, without offering details. No plan followed.

Last month when an attempt supported by Trump to repeal the healthcare law known as Obamacare collapsed in Congress, Trump said he would refocus on taxes.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday he expected Congress to approve a tax plan this year. (Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Andrea Ricci)

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