"You need to stop doing that, as the account is no longer your property."

--Amanda Rios, Internal Revenue Service

I woke up yesterday feeling good, as I always do when the month of May begins. And, as I always do on the first of every month, I take care of a bit of financial business.

Some of that financial business concerns a joint account I hold with my mom. My rent, for one thing, is paid out of this account.

Imagine my surprise when attempting to withdraw the required sum being told that the account had been frozen by the IRS.

Several frantic calls (It was a May Day mayday!!) later I discover the IRS has found several 'irregularities' in my mom's tax returns from years past and the dispute over them has grown to the point where the IRS feels it necessary to cover everything my mom has her name on with red tape.

And, apparently, they did this a month ago, and have only now gotten around to telling me. When I explained that the account was mine as well as my mom's (actually, it's all mine, the funds coming from various bequests from relatives over the years ... but since they're all from the maternal side of the family, my mom wanted administrative powers over the funds when I was younger and we just never got around to taking her name off) and that I regularly used the account for my modest living expenses, I was told "You need to stop doing that, as the account is no longer your property."

Boy, it's things like this that make me want to become a fire-breathing libertarian (but I resist when I realize I'd like my vote to count for something). And I guess I should be a little mad at my mom for not keeping cleaner books, but dammit, she's been sick and I can't find it within myself to get mad at her. To be fair, I also should be mad at myself for not insisting ... at least by age 30! ... that I was a big boy to my mom and that we needed to remove her name from the account. But it's family money, and that always complicates matters.

"The account is no longer yours," indeed. We'll see about that Ms. Rios-lady. Hmph.