Crocodile Dundee’s Paul Hogan has had a turbulent six months but it isn’t over yet for Australia’s iconic actor.
After six years of costly investigations against Hogan and routinely being branded in the local and international press as a tax cheat and tax criminals Hogan is setting the stage to re-enter the court rooms. This time though, he’ll on the other side of the table.
It is alleged he’s set to be suing the Australian Taxation Office for a potential A$80 million.
Still a “down to Earth” Aussie, Hogan has told The Herald Sun the lawsuit is not primarily about money, it is more about “investigating the investigators” including the Australian Crime Commission (ACC). He hasn’t ruled out actions against some ACC and Australian Taxation Office (ATO) employees from improper conduct.
As the words “Hogan” and “tax allegations” slithered their way into the mouths of directors, work dried up for Hogan.
Paul Hogan became the centre of attention in June 2010 when the High Court released documents lodged by ACC. They were alleging Paul Hogan of misleading Australian and United States tax authorities. They were claiming he was not a resident in either country and therefore was not liable to pay tax.
Hogan has repeatedly and strenuously denied ACC’s claims publicly announcing his innocence. He has been reported as saying “he’s already paid too much tax in Australia”.
Dundee tried to keep the documents secret but the High Court ruled he didn’t provide sufficient evidence to stop the documents from being released.
In August 2010 the ATO took a step further and served Hogan with a departure prohibition order when he arrived in Australia for his mother’s funeral. The order prevented Hogan from leaving Australia until he had paid an outstanding tax debt, reportedly close to $100 million.
The order received a lot of media attention and spurred many public debates about the timing of the order being served.
After lengthy mediations between the two parties everyone was happy that an attempt to reach a resolution was in progress. Hogan’s lawyers announced in early September that Hogan was free to head back to his family in Los Angeles after providing security.
As November neared an end the criminal investigation into Paul Hogan’s tax affairs was dropped by the ACC. The crime watchdog said the investigation was no longer considered to be in the public interest and there was “insufficient prospects of securing a conviction.”
The investigation into Hogan’s tax affairs (which began in 2005 but never charged) was part of the Operation Wickenby’s probe into the use of offshore tax havens by wealthy business people.