Crocodile Dundee grounded over tax bill

Crocodile Dundee actor Paul Hogan
has been barred from leaving Australia over an unpaid multi-million dollar tax
bill, his lawyer has said.

The Australian Taxation Office
(ATO) served the US-based actor with the order when he returned to Sydney
recently for his mother’s funeral.

The 70-year-old is alleged to have
put AUS$37.6m (£21.4m) of film royalties in offshore tax havens.

Hogan denies the claim, saying he
had “paid plenty of tax” in Australia.

The order prevents the actor from
leaving Australia until any alleged tax debts are paid or arrangements made for
the tax liability to be discharged.

Lawyer Andrew Robinson said Hogan
was “stunned and very disappointed the government could treat him as a
flight risk”.

“He denies the liability
asserted by the ATO and has filed objections which have not been the subject of
any response.

“The process of detaining Paul
in Australia away from his wife and child has devastated him and he hopes that
discussions between us and the ATO will lead to a prompt resolution allowing
him to return to his family,” Mr Robinson added.

The tax office reportedly served
Hogan with the tax bill for undeclared income last month after a five-year long
wrangle.

A spokesman from the ATO told the
Reuters news agency: “As he is an individual taxpayer, we can make no
comment.”

A popular Australian TV comedian,
Hogan hit international fame as Mick “Crocodile” Dundee in the 1986
film, which went on to become Australia’s most successful film ever.

The actor now lives in Los Angeles
with his wife, Crocodile Dundee co-star Linda Kozlowski.

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