Belfast Telegraph

Hogan 'can't pay' disputed tax bill

Paul Hogan, the Crocodile Dundee star, says he can't afford to pay even 10 per cent of what the Australian Tax Office says he owes in back taxes.

The actor made his first public comment since he was barred earlier this month from leaving Australia until he settles a multimillion dollar tax bill.

He told the news programme A Current Affair that he is not as rich as people believe, adding: "I can't pay 10 per cent of what they're asking."

He said of the tax office: "I know they're absolutely desperate to nail some high-profile character with money to justify the expense to the taxpayer."

The 70-year-old actor, who lives in Los Angeles, arrived in Sydney earlier this month to attend the funeral of his mother.

He was served with an Australian Taxation Office order that prevents him from leaving Australia until he settles the tax bill.

The actor has denied any wrongdoing and disputes the bill. He has never been charged with tax evasion.

Tax authorities last month claimed the star owed tax on 38 million Australian dollars (34 million US dollars) in allegedly undisclosed income. The exact tax bill has not been disclosed.

Australian tax and crime investigators have fought the actor in a five-year legal wrangle in Australian and US courts to investigate evidence he used offshore bank accounts to conceal earnings since his low-budget Crocodile Dundee movie became an international hit in 1986.

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