Australian actor Paul Hogan gave the Internal Revenue Service a thumbs-up after he was allowed to return to his home in California by Australian tax officials who had initially refused to let him leave the country until he settled a long-running tax dispute.
Calling the Australian Tax Office crazy bureaucrats, he favorably compared the IRS to the tax officials in his native land. I have come to this great tax haven, the USA, where the IRS are gentlemen compared to our lot, he said when he landed in Los Angeles on Monday, according to Australias Daily Telegraph.
The 70-year-old actor had flown to Australia last month to attend the funeral of his 101-year-old mother Florence, when Australian officials barred him from leaving the country (see Crocodile Dundee Snaps at Aussie Tax Officials). He has been embroiled in a dispute with the Australian Tax Office over millions of dollars in taxes he is said to owe on the approximately $38 million the government claims he stashed in off-shore tax havens.
Hogan said his negotiations with Australian officials were not friendly, but they had ultimately let him leave the country because of all the negative attention his detention had generated.
It was because of all the bad publicity around the world, he said. It was sort of What? You get kept there [in Australia]? Guilty until proven innocent? The ATOs words were, Shut up, you can leave. Youve got seven days. Hogan left the country wearing a false mustache.
Despite the problems during his last trip, Hogan said he planned to return to Australia in December, according to the Daily Telegraph. Its only a couple of a**holes who treated me badly, he said. Theyre not going to trap me again. They wouldnt dare.
Hogans wife Linda Kozlowski, who co-starred with him in the Crocodile Dundee movies, said the tax dispute had caused the family a lot of stress, according to Nine News. Its like being held hostage. Its sick. She said she had been too afraid to fly to Australia. Its a very scary place, she said.
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