Crocodile Dundee Paul Hogan grounded over tax bill

image captionHogan found international fame as Mick 'Crocodile' Dundee

Crocodile Dundee actor Paul Hogan has been barred from leaving Australia over an unpaid multi-million dollar tax bill, his lawyer has said.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) served the US-based actor with the order when he returned to Sydney recently for his mother's funeral.

The 70-year-old is alleged to have put AUS$37.6m (£21.4m) of film royalties in offshore tax havens.

Hogan denies the claim, saying he had "paid plenty of tax" in Australia.

The order prevents the actor from leaving Australia until any alleged tax debts are paid or arrangements made for the tax liability to be discharged.

Lawyer Andrew Robinson said Hogan was "stunned and very disappointed the government could treat him as a flight risk".

"He denies the liability asserted by the ATO and has filed objections which have not been the subject of any response.

"The process of detaining Paul in Australia away from his wife and child has devastated him and he hopes that discussions between us and the ATO will lead to a prompt resolution allowing him to return to his family," Mr Robinson added.

The tax office reportedly served Hogan with the tax bill for undeclared income last month after a five-year long wrangle.

A spokesman from the ATO told the Reuters news agency: "As he is an individual taxpayer, we can make no comment."

A popular Australian TV comedian, Hogan hit international fame as Mick "Crocodile" Dundee in the 1986 film, which went on to become Australia's most successful film ever.

The actor now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Crocodile Dundee co-star Linda Kozlowski.