Stranded actor Paul Hogan in Australia tax deal

Fri Sep 3, 2010 2:22am EDT
 
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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Actor Paul Hogan, star of the "Crocodile Dundee" movies, has struck a deal with Australia's tax office which will allow him to return home to his family in Los Angeles, his lawyer said on Friday.

Hogan, 70, has been barred from leaving Australia for nearly two weeks after the Australian Taxation Office served him with a departure-prohibition order while he was in the country to attend his 101-year-old mother's funeral.

The office has refused to comment on reports that it was seeking tax on A$38 million ($34 million) of allegedly undeclared income from Hogan, saying it does not give details of individual taxpayers. The actor has publicly protested his innocence.

But his lawyer Andrew Robinson said on Friday that Hogan's representatives and the tax office had reached an agreement after "a cordial and co-operative meeting."

"Mr Hogan is pleased to announce that the parties have reached agreement on terms (which include the provision of security) which will allow Mr Hogan to return to his family," Robinson said in a statement.

"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."

No more details on the settlement were immediately available, nor was it known when Hogan would leave Australia to return to his wife and son in the United States.

Hogan has been in a dispute with the tax office for five years and is under investigation as part of Australia's biggest probe into offshore tax evasion, Operation Wickenby.

The tax office has claimed he put tens of millions of dollars in film royalties in offshore tax havens, a claim that he has denied. He has never been charged with tax evasion.   Continued...