Yukon woman on EI runs up $1M tax bill, declares bankruptcy

Yukon woman on EI runs up $1M tax bill, declares bankruptcy

A Yukon woman who claims a gambling addiction drove her into debt has declared bankruptcy, after being slapped with a $982,827 tax bill — accrued while she was collecting employment insurance.

Yukon Supreme Court Justice Leigh Gower ordered Anh Thi Dinh, 58, to pay back 20 per cent of that, or $196,565.

The Canada Revenue Agency audited Dinh in 2012, and focused on three years — 2007 to 2009. It found massive discrepancies between Dinh's reported taxable income, and her "unreported business income."

That unreported business income "was apparent from cash advances, wire transfers, casino transactions, and bank account withdrawals and transactions from both known and unknown sources," according to Gower's written decision.

In 2009, Dinh claimed an income of $24,480, but the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) found she had unreported income worth nearly a million dollars — $949,025.91. According to court documents, the specific source of that income is not known.

"Because the CRA could not find any other source of income for the bankrupt other than her employment, to the extent that it has determined that the bankrupt received unreported income, this has been deemed to be 'business income'," Gower wrote in his decision.

Dinh also spent a little more than $1 million in 2009 — mostly at a casino in Edmonton, the court heard.

'Lavish lifestyle'

"This indicates that the bankrupt was living a relatively lavish lifestyle, while failing to report her actual income by several orders of magnitude," Gower wrote.

"What is even worse is that, all the while, the bankrupt was also receiving government benefits totaling about $58,500 over the three years."

Dinh was given the CRA's audit report in 2012. She has not challenged it, so the court has deemed it valid.

Gower ordered Dinh — now working at a Whitehorse grocery store — to repay her tax debt at a rate of $200 per month. At that rate, the $196,565 would be paid off in about 82 years.

He also ordered her to get a professional assessment of her gambling addiction, and seek any recommended treatment or counselling.