‘Mad as hell’ actor Paul Hogan compares Australian Tax Office to the Taliban | News.com.au

Posted: March 8, 2011 in Uncategorized
Paul Hogan

Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan in Sydney. Picture: Alan Pryke Source: The Australian

Hogan repeatedly insulted members of the ATO, calling them “ego-tripping mongrels” and saying the level of public enmity against them was so high “I may as well have picked the Taliban to take on”.

“They’re used to having people roll over,” Hogan told host Tracy Grimshaw.

“I’m not going to roll over, I may lose but I’m taking some of them with me.”

Hogan was referring to his ongoing five-year battle with the ATO and Australian Crime Commision (ACC) over unpaid taxes.

While the ACC dropped its criminal investigation into Hogan and friend John “Strop” Cornell, for alleged fraud and tax evasion in November last year the ATO is continuing its parallel investigation.

At least $150 million hangs in the balance and Hogan told The Australian he was being treated as “guilty until proven innocent” alleging the ATO had cut off his sources of income and imposed limits on his overseas travel.

Hogan said his anger comes after an alleged request to see detail surrounding his case was responded to with pages of blacked out documents.

Displaying the papers to Grimshaw he quipped he wasn’t sure if they were an attempt at a joke or if the department was “flipping me the bird”.

“Are they bad jokers or are they just treating me with contempt,” he said.

He said he now felt he “must go public” because the ATO were “arrogant bullies” and he realised “you can’t talk with these people”.

“If I was Fred Smith and I was copping this treatment I wouldn’t be here talking to you I’d just be coppin’ it,” he said.

“It’s become very personal, I hate bullies – and that’s what these people are.”

Hogan said the five-year battle had destroyed his reputation.

“They’ve declared me a criminal all round the world,” he said.

“It’s over, I used to be Hoges the funny man or Crocodile Dundee.

“But now I’m the tax man. Google it, they’ve turned me into the tax man and that never goes away.”

Hogan even showed some flashes of the humour and flair that made him a star. 

He directly addressed the “front line troops” of the ATO and ACC assuring them he knew they were “decent, hardworking people” and it wasn’t their fault if “their boss was an ego-tripping mongrel”.

He followed this up by apologising to clowns everywhere for comparing them to the high-ranking bureaucrats of the ATO.

“Clowns may be creepy-looking but they’re just trying to give you a laugh,” he said.

“I’m sorry clowns for comparing you to these fools.”

It is ATO policy not to comment on individual taxpayer cases.

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