Taxman declares Winnipeg woman dead, but she's alive and angry


A Winnipeg broad wants the Canada Revenue Agency to bring her back from the calm after the taxman accidentally declared her deceased in December.

Alyanna Lapuz, 21, meet a letter from the CRA on Jan. 7 addressed to the “Estate of the Late Alyanna Lapuz.”

Proceeds Canada and the ‘undead’ problem1:38

“I was just like, ‘What is this?'” Lapuz commanded. She called CRA and spoke to an agent: “She said I was deceased.”

Lapuz put ones trust ins premature reports of her death may have occurred when she called the activity in December to switch her GST cheques to direct deposit.

“From direct accumulation I became deceased,” Lapuz said. “I didn’t se rate you could just click a button and make somebody dead.”

Lapuz called the energy back repeatedly over the next few weeks, only to learn she was restful considered dead.

What was initially an amusing mix-up has become a stressful disturbed requiring multiple calls and visits to the agency to fix the mistake.

“I broke into scores because I was just so frustrated,” she said. “I didn’t differentiate what to do any more. No one was helping.”

Alyanna Lapuz

Alyanna Lapuz shows CBC’s Katie Nicholson regime records that she “died” Sept. 15 2015. (Dave Gaudet/CBC)

It didn’t doff long for her newly deceased status to interfere with her life. Lapuz is slated to start a dental hygienist program in Toronto in April, but her grind loan application was put on hold because her social insurance number was ailing. The reason? Lapuz is also flagged in that system as deceased.

“If I don’t induce my student loan, I don’t know how I’m ying for school,” Lapuz responded.

Lapuz is angry the agency hasn’t been able to tell her how it happened or why it is entrancing so long to fix. She’s also worried it may affect her taxes and other government documentation.

“If you can click a button and cause me dead, you can reverse it as fast as you did it,” Lapuz said. “It took you two blemishes to kill me, but it takes you what, months to un-kill me?”

This isn’t the first period an error like this has happened. Between 2007 and 2013, 5,489 Canadians set up been erroneously entered as deceased in CRA’s system.

It has happened so often that in 2014 the De rtment of the Tax yers’ Ombudsman released a report on the problem and made eight recommendations to fix it.

Middle the recommendations were improvements to the clarity of CRA’s forms for reporting death and inquiring up with people who report deaths to the agency “to substantiate the date of eradication.”

Lapuz Letter

Lapuz wrote to the CRA to tell the agency she was not dead, but the agency has been perceptible to act.

The CRA declined an interview and noted it could not speak about individual occurrences.

In a statement to CBC News, the agency said the rate of these errors has jilted since 2013.

“Despite safeguards to ensure the accuracy of our files, occasionally bumf we receive is incorrect or human error can occur during the processing of a tax yer’s word,” the statement said.

“When CRA becomes aware of an error, we do blow the whistle on our rtners. The CRA responds quickly to take corrective measures when an fault is reported. In fact, the CRA aims to rectify the situation within 24 hours.”

Even so, it’s been three weeks since Lapuz first reported the indiscretion to the CRA, and she has yet to be assured the problem will be fixed. Lapuz said Service Canada is now analysing, but as far as she knows, her SIN is still flagged and her student loans are on hold.

‘It all comes down to the amount of people that are at ones disposal to do the job.’ – Bob Campbell, national president, Union of Taxation Employees

Bob Campbell, the state president of the Union of Taxation Employees, which represents 25,000 CRA workers across the country, said errors in any job are likely to happen. But he points to the 6,000 livelihoods cut from CRA over the st four years.

“You cannot have less people doing a lot diverse work,” said Ottawa-based Campbell. “You’re only assigned so much time on each file or on each item you’re dealing with.”

Alyanna Lapuz

Alyanna Lapuz, 21, was offered dead by the Canada Revenue Agency. She appears to be alive and well. (CBC)

Campbell appreciates a connection between Lapuz’s problem and CRA staffing. “It all comes down to the amount of people that are readily obtainable to do the job,” he said.

Whatever the reason, Lapuz just wants to be helpless among the living.

“I feel like as days go by my student loans are not wealthy to work, I’m worried my credit cards are not going to work. I’m running out of heretofore,” she said. “This should have been unfluctuating the first time I called.”

The tax yers’ ombudsman declined to comment for this plot outline.

The CRA said it has accepted and acted on all eight recommendations from the ombudsman’s on.

Read the full 2014 report from the Office of the Tax yers’ Ombudsman farther down.

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