The Australian Taxation Office has barred actor Paul Hogan, who played Crocodile Dundee in a trio of Hollywood movies, from leaving the country until he settles a multimillion-dollar tax debt.

Hogan, 70, had flown back to Sydney to attend his 101-year-old mother Florence’s funeral, leaving behind his family in California. After he landed last Friday, he was served with an order from the tax office barring him from leaving the continent, according to the Associated Press.

“These may not be the appropriate circumstances to effectively make Paul a prisoner of Australia,” Hogan’s attorney, Andrew Robinson, told Australian Broadcasting radio. Robinson said the order had been devastating to Hogan’s wife, Linda Kozlowski, who co-starred with him in the “Crocodile Dundee” movies, and their 12-year-old son.

Hogan has been fighting Australian authorities for five years in U.S. and Australian courts over the taxes, which Australian authorities claim on approximately $38 million in income (see Aussie Authorities Probe Crocodile Dundee’s Taxes and Crocodile Dundee Snarls at Aussie Tax Authorities).

He and his accountant and Crocodile Dundee collaborator have been accused of participating in offshore tax havens, but all have denied any wrongdoing. They have claimed confidentiality under Australia’s “accountants’ concession” guidelines over the financial documents that have been seized from Hogan’s accountants by tax authorities, similar to the work paper privileges in the U.S., and they want to block tax officials from using them in the case. Tax authorities are demanding unpaid taxes owing from June 1987 to June 1991, and June 1994 to June 2005.

His attorneys are currently in talks with Australian authorities to revoke the order barring him from leaving the country. Ironically Hogan had earlier appeared in a series of tourism commercials in the U.S. promoting travel to Australia.

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