column -t -s '\t'
would separate columns on
column -s \t is the same as
column -s t, as the backslash is interpreted as a quoting operator by the shell.
Here you want to pass a real TAB character to column. With ksh93, zsh, bash, mksh or FreeBSD sh:
column -ts $'\t'
Or enter a real tab character by typing Ctrl-V Tab at the shell prompt (within quotes or preceded by a backslash as the tab character is a token separator in the shell syntax just like space), or use
"$(printf '\t')" (those double quotes needed to disable the split+glob operator as the tab character also happens to be in the default value of