Check your paperwork or you may wind up with an $8M tax bill like this barista


This spring is bringing a tax season more complicated than usual, with pandemic benefits and payments adding to the usual paperwork. But for Alina Bukatova, it might never be as complicated as 2018, when all the money in her bank accounts was seized after the Canada Revenue Agency thought she owed more than $8 million in taxes. That’s despite an income Bukatova described as about $17,000 from working at a coffee shop. It was a situation the 17-year-old student in Victoria ignored at first, thinking it was an attempt to defraud her. Bukatova had used a branch of a well-known national tax preparation chain to do her 2018 taxes. She trusted what went through and didn’t see anything that appeared incorrect. So when her notice of assessment showed an income of more than $17 million dollars — and the associated $8 million in unpaid taxes — she assumed it was a fake, along with automated phone calls claiming she owed money to the Canada Revenue Agency.

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