In America we know him as Crocodile Dundee, however Paul Hogan has become known for something else in his native Australia. According to the Australian Taxation Office(ATO), Hogan is the subject of a tax fraud investigation. The battle between Hogan and the tax authorities in Australia is not a new one, in fact this dispute has been going on now for over five years.
The investigation is based on the claim that the 70-year-old actor allegedly attempted to avoid paying taxes by moving money to an offshore account. Hogan’s response to these claims is that he has already paid at least $100 million in taxes to the ATO and will not pay anymore. The ATO is insisting the actor owes millions more on undeclared income. The dispute between Hogan and the ATO began as a civil matter, however the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) is now investigating the actor in a major tax fraud investigation for the role they believe he played in “Operation Wickenby”. Although embroiled in a heated battle with the ATO and under investigation by the ACC, Hogan has to date, not had criminal charges filed against him. John Cornell who wrote and produced the “Crocodile Dundee” series also served as Hogan’s manager and accountant. Cornell has also been named in the investigation linked to Hogan.
As a result of Hogan’s refusal to pay the millions the ATO alleges he owes, the actor was declared a flight risk and prohibited from leaving Australian until the matter is resolved. Initially this was not an issue as Hogan who resides in the United States with his wife and son, left the handling of the investigation to his attorney. That was until he returned to Australia after the death of his mother, to attend final services. It was at this time that the ATO served Hogan with the order preventing him from leaving the country and returning to his family in the State until his tax issue is resolved.
After a brief stay in Australian, Hogan’s attorneys and Australian tax officials reached an agreement which allowed the actor to return home to the United States. As reported by FoxNnews.com, lawyer Andrew Robinson stated: “While the Commissioner and Mr. Hogan remain in dispute on more general taxation issues, Mr. Hogan continues to protest his innocence and denies any wrongdoing.”
Hogan’s response to his recent experience with the ATO has been called “not friendly” and he believes he was eventually allowed to leave as a result of the negative publicity generated by his detention. Since criminal charges have yet to be filed, many might suggest this is a clear case of guilty until proven innocent. Hogan has been quoted by Australia’s Daily Telegraph as saying “I have come to this great tax haven, the USA, where the IRS are gentlemen compared to our lot” upon his return to the United States.
For now the tax issues remain unresolved; however, this past experience in Australia will not prevent the actor from returning to his home country. His wife, on the other hand, finds the entire dispute very stressful, preventing her from joining her husband on trips to the country.