Monday, September 15, 2014


There was no free wi-fi in the guest rooms at Bally’s in Atlantic City ($12.99 for 24 hours) - so no internet access during the NATP Forum.  I had to wait until I could stop at a McDonald’s on the way home to check emails.  Hence no Friday BUZZ last week and this special, albeit abbreviated, Monday edition.  Posts on the NATP Tax Forum will appear tomorrow and Wednesday.

I get free in-room wi-fi at just about every motel (at every price level) I stay at – but not at a “higher class” casino hotel.  Go figure.                          

BTW – I returned home to northeast PA early Friday afternoon, and headed out again on Saturday morning to Wellesboro, PA (2 hours west on Route 6 outside of Scranton).  I will be heading back home tomorrow afternoon.  Back at my desk, and the few remaining GDEs, on Wednesday.

* Jason Dinesen adds his more than 2 cents to a discussion I began in “What Is Our Legal Responsibility” in the September issue of “The Tax Professional” in his blog post “What Responsibilities Do Tax Preparers Have in Assessing ACA Penalties?”.

I thank Jason for his contribution to the discussion, and look forward to hearing what other tax pros have to say.

* The CCH week-day daily Tax Headlines email newsletter tells us “Senate Faces Abbreviated Schedule for Remainder of Session” -

Congress returned to work on September 8 with inversion transactions, the extension of expired tax incentives, retirement security and internet access taxes all awaiting action, but little time to accomplish everything prior to the November 4 midterm elections. Congress may be in session for as little as two weeks before recessing for election campaigns, returning in early December for a very short lame-duck session.”

These idiots have done virtually nothing for the first 8 months of the year.  Do you really think they will accomplish anything in two weeks?

I expect that the “tax extenders” will once again be extended in December – once again causing delays to the start of processing 2014 tax return.

* Kay Bell, the yellow rose of taxes, suggests “IRS Direct Pay One of Many Ways to Pay Estimated Taxes”, which are due today.

* CPA James Lange warns us to “Beware of the Pro Rata Rule for Roth Conversions” at his ROTH REVOLUTION BLOG.

This is something that higher-income taxpayers do not take into consideration when attempting a “back-door” ROTH contribution.  They make a non-deductible traditional IRA contribution of $5,500 and turn around and convert this $5,500 contribution to a ROTH and assume that there will be no income tax on the conversion.  But, as Mr Gershwin wrote, “it ain’t necessarily so”!  In a not uncommon example provided by James in the post $4,750 of the conversion is taxed!


Is it mere coincidence that a highly touted broadcast tv series of the new fall season, with a primo time slot, is about a female Secretary of State – just 2 years before the next Presidential election?



Chris Johnson, EA said...

Doesn't surprise that Bally's or any casino hotel, charges you for WiFi in the room. They don't want you on the internet - they want you down on the casino floor, frittering your money away! I haven't been to Atlantic City in a while. With the A.C. Hilton, Showboat and Revel all closed down, that place has got to be looking a little different now. The Trump Plaza, being in the middle of the boardwalk closing down next will really put a dent in things - interesting to see how the city will look after that one closes.

Peter Reilly said...

It's worth considering getting your own hotspot. I really like having one and it does not add that much to my cell phone bill.

Robert D Flach said...


Cell phone? I have the cheapest Consumer Cellular model at $9.50 per month (plus taxes) via AARP that I only have in case my car breaks down on the highway. I never take it anywhere other than the car - and never answer it because nobody but me knows the number (and I do not have it memorized).

I am fine not being able to access the internet. It is nice to get a rest occasionally.


Chris Johnson, EA said...

I wanted to add that Atlantic City may be dying a second death with four different casinos closing and rumors about a fifth one (the Taj) shutting down as well, but regardless of how things turn out, there are some things about that city I'll always like. Las Vegas is always fun, but there's no substitute for the warm smell of that salty ocean air that permeates the boardwalk and other parts of the town. Also, the last few times I was there, I always made a point to visit a very important noncasino landmark and restaurant - the White House Sub Shop! It dates back to World War II, soldiers ate there while training on the Atlantic City beach for the invasion of Japan (which didn't happen of course). Mmm, I could go for one of their subs today, they are the best. It's no surprise that the place was one of the few small businesses that survived after the casinos came in and is still thriving today. Eat there and you'll never want to go to Subways or Blimpies again.

Robert D Flach said...


I agree about AC vs LV.

I am told the Marina section is better than the Boardwalk - but have never been there (no tax classes held there).

Email me the address of the sub shop - I am going back to AC in November.