Ah, the distinct smell of tax time. All that sweating…sweating out deductions, college expenses, rental income, and maybe even side-hustle write-offs (what exactly is a write-off again?). There are so many options for software to help you, where do you turn? Today we’re diving into the College Investor’s annual list of best in class software with Mr. College Investor himself, Robert Farrington. We won’t share just ONE choice, but will walk through all of the different areas of your life where you might need one particular program over another.
Before that, though, we share a headline about one popular columnist who disappeared last year to write a book, and missed out on all of the ups and downs of the stock market. What did he learn? We’ll share. Plus, we’re finishing up round one of our Stacker Joke-Off…and we’ll share four new math jokes AND unveil the winners of last week’s matchup.
All of that, Doug’s trivia AND more on today’s episode!
Deeper dives with curated links, topics, and discussions are in our newsletter, The 201, available at https://www.stackingbenjamins.com/201
- What I Learned When I Stopped Watching the Stock Market (Wall Street Journal)
Big thanks to Robert Farrington for joining us today. To learn more about Robert, visit The College Investor.
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- What is a write off?
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Written by: Kevin Bailey
Miss our last show? Listen here: Could YOU Become a Stock Market Wizard? (SB1473).
So you’ll pick me up tonight at 7
well, no. I got a few
things to, to take care of first, but what, why don’t we make a quarter to eight? Stop it.
Okay. 7 45
Live from Joe’s mom’s basement. It’s the Stacking Benjamin Show.
I am Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Doug, and what are the best tax software options for this year’s? Returns. We’ll have the whole list of top options from the college investor website, plus an appearance by Mr. College investor himself, Robert Farrington in our headlines, what would happen if you completely stopped following the financial markets?
Well, one popular writer did just that and is reporting back. We’ll share his finding. Plus, uh, let’s see, another round of our hilarious stacker math joke off. But most of all, I’m sure you are here because I’m about to drop some practically free trivia. And now a guy whose college education really paid off and Joe Saul-Sehy
twice in one week. We took a swing at you, just
again, you missed the meeting, Doug. You pay the price that’ll learn ya everybody happy, happy day. I gotta, I gotta come to protect my integrity and make sure that we swipe it og every, every beginning of every episode. I am Joe Saul-Sehy. Glad you’re here. Kick your feet up because you found us.
We’re so happy that you’re gonna join us for an hour of, uh, financial lessons, nerdery and fun with the gents across the table from me. The guy whose voice you haven’t heard yet is Mr. og. How are you? Man? It’s
hump te so I’m feeling pretty good. I’m counting this as the middle of February since it’s a short month.
So, you know, middle-ish, short. It’s short by like a day this year. So I’m definitely thinking of it as kind of the middle of February, which means it’s almost spring.
It’s actually as long as February can get. And you’re gonna count this as the middle? Yeah.
Yeah. I mean, it’s basically spring. It’s, it’s right around the corner.
I’m not even, I’m not even thinking about any of that. I’m thinking about the fact that we talked about, you know, people doing dry or, uh, damp February, and I’m doing Rainforest February. I’m thinking about the Super Bowl. Mm-Hmm. You guys, uh, got big plans for this weekend for the Super Bowl. What is
it too soon to say Go Niners?
so? No. I could care less about Super Bowl this year. In fact, I’m angry about the Super Bowl this year. Angry. You’re
an angry elf as a Detroit
man. Yes. Oh, I love how a couple of weeks ago, everybody’s like, oh, Joe, we’re so sorry. You’re lions lost. Like you’re the only one that cares about the Lions.
Joe’s more Dallas Cowboys fan these days, I think. Oh God, Joe, you’re like right down the street.
Let me tell you the reasons that I like the Cowboys. Oh. For people that missed that because they heard our wonderful sponsor. I listed nothing during that segment and, and let me fill in with a little more, nothing, as you might hear from me here, but think about underneath this layer of what you’re hearing.
There’ll be more nothing. How about them cowboys? How about them cowboys? America’s team. I did like, I did like Jimmy Johnson, I love Jimmy Johnson. I
dunno if you guys caught this or not, but, uh, in the pre-game two weeks ago before the, uh, championship game, the NFC championship game, there was some, uh, America’s team comments relating to Detroit.
Oh yeah. I know from the pregame it was like, this seems to be America’s team. This, and, and, uh, I could, I could feel the. Cowboy fans screaming. Well, it
turns out the Cowboys and lions isn’t that bad, actually. Turns out the cowboys and lions have a lot
in common. Yeah, because the
lions probably lost that game.
People not interested in football. We’re gonna get moving right now. We’ve got the College investors annual awards for the best in. Tax preparation software. We’re gonna walk through that with, uh, Robert Farrington today. Some clips from recent discussion I had with Robert Farrington and a fantastic headline that OG brought to the table.
So let’s do it. Hello doling. And now it’s time for your favorite part of the show, our Stacking Benjamins headlines. Today’s headline comes to us from the Wall Street Journal, written by the Jason Sweig. Turns out, uh. Sweg, who’s just an amazing columnist back from a little time off Siesta when he wrote it a book.
Yeah. He starts off this piece by saying, I just pulled a Rip Van Winkle. Maybe you should too. I’m back at my regular post The Wall Street Journal. After being away on book leave. That long hiatus disengaged me from the daily hubbub of markets. So I could frame investing ideas in a longer historical and broader psychological perspective.
Like the character in the Washington Urban Story who woke up after a 20 year nap. I’ve returned to a world both transformed and hauntingly familiar. And what’s amazing og, he missed looking at the markets for many months, for many, many months. And guess what happened?
Uh, you know, they did what they did and, uh, he.
Participated and was none the wiser
and nothing that he expected to happen. Well, let’s put it this way. Some stuff he expected to happen, but then you think about the likely dominoes of that. Like as an example, he said, uh, when my last regular
col and what I was gonna say, what was the timeframe of his absence?
Yeah. His last regular column ran May 26th of, uh, 2023,
sell in May and go away, as
it were. Yeah. The s and p 500 says was already up 10.3. So to your point, OGs like. Well, he even quotes here, he says, let’s call it a year right here. Yeah.
Cash out. Put it in cash, and uh, got the whole year
wrapped up. He goes on.
What’s that? You say? The s and p sank more than 10% in the NASDAQ composite fell more than 12% between July and October. Sounds good. Right? Sell may go away, he says Then in three wild weeks, they roared right back outta their declines. But then the big thing is I never noticed. Jason writes. You say the yield on the 10 year treasury?
3.8 when I left, shot up to 4.99 in October, then promptly reversed and sank almost all the way back to 3.9 by year end on a chart. Looks like the cross-section of volcano. I was oblivious. And then he talks about stocks like Nvidia and May. I already wondered whether Nvidia then up 167% in 2023. By May it was up 167% said it’s risen too far, too fast.
Computer graphics giant at the forefront of the artificial intelligence. Boom. After that, it went up another 58%. Yeah.
Nothing gained from paying attention to the market
every day. Everything you would think would happen didn’t happen. It went exactly the opposite of what you would’ve expected if you were gonna bet on any of that.
og. You would bet on the opposite Nvidia already up 167%. You kidding me? Yeah.
Sell it all. Well, the interesting thing is when you look at stock performance or your portfolio performance over periods of time, it always goes up into the right. It’s just when you look at it over short periods of time, it doesn’t do that.
I wish that I could find where this was, but there’s a YouTube video about the size of the solar system. And it zooms in on the, you know, on a person on earth, right? And then it like it zooms out and now it’s earth and you get the perspective of like one person to earth and then it zooms out to like the sun and the planets and you get the perspective of earth relative to the sun and how.
Infinitesimal that is, and then it zooms out to like whatever’s next, the solar system and like, you know, all these different sizes of suns and you know, all these, like, this thing’s a million light years away, but it’s 500 x the size of our sun, which is, you know, you get this perspective. When you look at all of this thing over a period of time, you see how how it looks.
The same thing is true with the stock market. When you look at day to day, when you look at your investment accounts every day, or you’re looking at your investment accounts every week, or hell even every month or every quarter, you see those that fluctuation. You don’t see the perspective until you could go, I.
I looked on January 1st, and now I look again on January 1st. Now I can see the perspective or I look on January 1st and I look what it was 10 years ago on January 1st, and you can see the the smoothness of that curve versus the volatility of the day to day. And when you see it all the time, you’re forced to reconcile that all the time.
It’s just this ongoing stress and struggle of even trying to do the right thing, which is stay the course, do nothing, you know, follow your plan when you have to use that muscle every single minute of the day, or every single day, or every single week. It can get worn out. You have to save that energy for when it really matters.
Like when you do look and it’s down 20% year over year, that’s when you need that energy of like, Nope, just gotta stay the course. But if you’ve been using that every single week for an entire year of it’s down 1%, it’s down 2%, it’s down 3%, it’s down 4%, it’s down 5%. Eventually you just get worn
Well, what’s the problem? Can’t do it. Yeah. The problem is, if you see it go down one day, two days, three days, four days, or in the case of Nvidia, you see it go up one day, two day, three days, four days, what happens? You’re gonna og you’re gonna get an idea. Yeah. And the idea is gonna
wreck everything. A bias of some kind.
Yeah. Whether it’s like this will never end, or this has po can only only end one of those two things and. You know, that’s obviously not the case.
This whole concept is totally foreign to me because I exercise the muscle of doing nothing every day. Like, how hard is this? We’re aware
to be the ultimate
Obvious. I mean, it’s so easy.
If only you followed the get started, just sit on your hand piece.
we on Monday for people that didn’t hear, had the wonderful Jack Schwager on talking about market wizards. When Jacket was on og, as you heard, he was talking about these people that have a history beating the SB 500.
The one thing you never heard was like playing their gut, playing a gut feeling. They had a system. Even if, and Jack reminded us for the average person out there, you do not wanna be a trader, you wanna be investor and you shouldn’t do what these people did on Monday. But there were so many good things that they did among these, uh, these things that we think they do, we think these traders are better at trading their gut.
No, they’re not the top traders. Are great at following a system of doing the same thing all the time. And when you’ve, when you peer out the way you’re talking about, or Jason is here, you see that the best system you could possibly have is to leave it alone and maybe look what, twice a year?
And there’s a clear difference between being a trader and being an investor.
Huge difference. Like it, and Jack like, made that very clear on Monday way, way, way
bigger difference than, than what people think. You know, if you’re an investor. It’s an investment. It’s, it’s a long-term thing. I mean, there’s so many different analogies of the, the farmer planting the crops and pulling ’em up every week just to make sure they’re still growing.
They don’t do that. They plant them. They water ’em. They follow
the plant. I like that. That’s a hilarious analogy.
You know, it’s, uh, I’m glad, I glad it resonates with you, Doug. I mean, there’s a time and a place, and if you follow your system, which is every year I rebalance on this day or every six months, I do this.
You can’t be fooled by the day-to-Day fluctuations. When it’s in your face every day. I like your point on this, Joe. Eventually you’re gonna have an idea and that idea is generally gonna be do something other than the thing I’m supposed to do. It’s gonna
sink everything. That idea
sucks and probably no.
Go back and take a nap. Go rip Van Winkle some more. I like his advice. Go take another nap. Who doesn’t like another nap?
Yeah. Right. I can teach you how to do that. It’s sort of like the, the old joke in, in process improvement used to be that the factory of the future has a man and a dog. And the man is only there to feed the dog, and the dog is there to keep the man from touching the machines.
sense. We need that for investing.
Like most comedians like That’s only funny ’cause it’s true. Yeah. Yeah. We will dive more into what Jason’s talking about, how to be a long-term investor. Maybe give yourself the right mindset. Also, uh, Kevin Bailey and the 2 0 1 will also show you some past episodes where we’ve talked about the importance of mindset, getting your mind right, being in the right place, and keeping emotions outta your portfolio, which tends to, uh, drive a lot of what we do, unfortunately.
Hey, over the last couple weeks we have had our 2024 Big Sweet 16 stacker math joke off, and we took 16 jokes submitted by you, our stacker family Doug. We had a big eight versus nine competition.
Yeah, those are always the most exciting matchups in any tournament.
Uh, you want to go back over what the two jokes were?
Sure. If you want me to read ’em both, I mean that could restart that whole controversy ’cause they’re both gonna be hilarious.
I don’t, which one did you read? I don’t even remember
who read which one. Actually, I, I gotta admit, my streak from the previous week was broken where I won both the rounds with the lower seed.
This time I think you won both the rounds because you read the winner. So the eight seed joke from Brandy is, did you know that 10 plus 10 and 11 plus or 11 the same? Because 10 plus 10 is 20 and 11 plus 11 is 22. I like that joke. I do too. And I read it and I thought I crushed it. But the nine seed, which you read was I saw my math teacher with a piece of graph paper yesterday.
I think she must have been plotting something and that one
won. This was the closest competition we’ve had yet, though. Closest. Closest competition
stands to reason, I guess eight versus nine. Seed means you did your seedings well. Oh,
no, it wasn’t that close. No. 75%
to 25% or something. I thought, I thought it was close.
I thought, well, he’s not gonna say these numbers out loud if he wants to say they’re close.
Congratulations to Jen. Moving on the number nine seed. Moving on. And then, uh, we go to the other half of the bracket and down here. We also had a similarly lopsided one.
But this makes sense ’cause it was 14 verses three, except it doesn’t because 14 one and it’s.
Because of it was right in our wheelhouse of bodily function humor.
So the three seed joke was no more customer service in banking. The other day I called Wells Fargo to move cash. They opened eight checking accounts and two credit cards from Melissa. I like
that. I like that one too. And, and you know, it’s funny, most of the comments from stackers were about who would do business with Wells Fargo, like, you know, another one of those.
It’s so funny ’cause
it’s true. Then there’s number 14 and I think, I think OG might have given this one a little boost on the episode where we read it. ’cause he really liked this one. So he put his thumb on the scale. The 14 seed was hear about the constipated mathematician. He worked it out with a pencil.
Speaking of thumb. Oh, worked out with pencil. Not his thumb. Not his,
my bad. That’s matter. A whole different joke.
Uh, we do not have the results from last week, but we are going to give you two more this week. The final two, and, uh, let’s go to the top of this. This is the number four versus 13 seed. Which one you wanna read here? Doug.
I’ll take the low seed. I’ll take 13. All right. The
uh, four seat is from Susie. This is a pretty hard time OG for me financially.
Last month I was unable to pay the bills to my Exorcist, and as a consequence, I’ve been repossessed. Okay. All right. Little head nod. Not too bad.
I think he gets it. I’m not sure he understands it. Got it. I got it. It’s a thinker joke, a
repossession joke. And the number 13 seed. This is from
Patrick. Patrick sends math teachers don’t die.
They just reduce to the lowest terms.
What I love, by the way, when Patrick sent that, that one’s pretty good. When Patrick sent that to me, he said, perhaps it was the fact it was a 70 plus year old teacher who started laughing
uncontrollably. As he told the joke, the rest
of the class looked around at each other like, oh shoot, this lady’s old,
and this math class just got real.
That made it hilarious
to me. She’s gonna start decomposing right there in front of them.
They just reduced to the lowest terms. All right. Those are your two. Oh, we got another one, don’t we?
That’s just the first
matchup. Oh, man. More hilarity, stackers. Hold on. We go down to the second half here. Seven verse 10.
Yeah, it’s, and here’s the deal. We had, uh, with, with, and I feel bad, and I’m gonna apologize a little bit to Melissa, because the joke was so long that Karen, our producer, was not able to fit it all in the. The, the, the little space they have for it. You can only Facebook feed. Yeah, yeah. You can only have so many.
So this time we’re gonna put C below so you can read the whole joke. ’cause one of these, the one by Kevin is long, as long as hell. But, uh, okay. OG what do you think about these two? Number seven, Doug.
He, he’s reading other jokes. I can tell just by looking at him. He’s not even, I am,
he’s, I can’t wait to share these later.
On the back porch. I’m at my own. Little joke off. Oh man.
On the back porch. You guys can watch. Sounds like summer camp all over again. Feel
like you’re joking off right now while we’re doing this, uh, what, uh, Doug you, you got for number
seven? I’m gonna take number seven, which is from Jeff who sends, what’s the difference between taxi and taxidermy?
know? No. What’s the difference? One’s cruel and inhumane. The other is dealing with dead animals. Okay. Okay.
Okay. And the number 10, that is, uh, this one. This one’s long. With the arc settled safely after the flood, Noah opens the doors and commands the animals. Go forth and multiply all the animals.
Depart the arc except for two snakes in the back. Noah proclaims again. Go forth and multiply, yet the snakes don’t move. Perturbed. Noah finally asked them, why have you not? Followed by command? The snakes flicker their tongues and answer. We can’t multiply. Noah. We’re adders. That one comes from Kevin.
We just got a raised eyebrow from og.
He’s got, he’s like, where’s the punchline? I’m waiting for the
punchline. I told that one to Cheryl Doug and she thought that one was pretty damn funny. I. Yeah,
I did when I heard it in church the first time too. We
can’t multiply. We’re, we’re adders
don’t get it. Alright, thanks. Thanks to Kevin Adders, the kind of snake ah, type of snake.
Oh, okay. Yes. I guess I thought, I thought that was
probably the case. So, um, we’re gonna have those in the basement Facebook group. To Kevin and Jeff, we got some books on the line. Let’s see who’s gonna take home that prize to make it to the second round?
So are we all the way through? We are all the way through.
We’re all the way through. We have cleared out all the jokes from the first round. So now from here on out, everybody’s just getting the best of the best.
Which in which in this case,
so is it pressing joke, joke again or does a person get to submit a new joke for their round two? No, no.
Oh no. It’s the
No, no, no, no. Just for people that didn’t get, they’re adders, for example.
Oh, look what he did there. You get another shot at
it. Yeah, I see. Good stuff. Just defending Kevin’s honor here. Coming up next, we are going to go over a list, uh, which I love every year. Robert Farrington and his amazing team at the college investor evaluate all your different options for tax prep software.
We’re going to play clips from when I spoke with him recently on an Instagram live and, uh, have OG talk about some of. The different tax things that we should be worried about depending on what type of, uh, return we need to file. But before that, I think, uh, Doug, you’ve got some, uh, tax stuff coming up as our trivia today.
Sure, dude, Joe.
Hey there, stackers. I’m Joe’s mom’s neighbor Doug. I’m in the middle of redecorating the basement and it’s really coming together nicely. I repainted, found a new rug along side of the road. It really ties the room together. I installed mood lighting. Even a disco ball. It’s finally starting to look like my first apartment outta college.
Cool. Luckily I have a lot more money now than I did then, so I’m dressing it up a little bit with all the bells and whistles. What’s still on tap to come? I’ll tell ya. A fish tank? Yeah. Salt water. Of course. Duh. Mini putting. Green Zen Garden. Space Pens, a giant hourglass, a record player, an espresso machine, a pizza oven, personal sauna, a globe that’s secretly a bar and a massage chair.
Oh, God. And I, of course, gotta have a massage chair, right? Thankfully, uncle Sam’s picking up the tab for everything. It’s all going in the basement. So everything’s basically a business expense. Someone told me you could write everything off. If you use it while you’re working, then I’m definitely using that massage chair while I work.
I can’t wait for Joe to see it once it’s finished. He already knows I’ve got an eye for style like that. Uh, David from Schitt’s Creek, who also knows tax planning, check it out. What’s this?
Looks expensive. Uh, this is some new betting
David did, didn’t I just
tell you to save your money? Uh. Yeah, I
am testing this out for the
So work is paying for it. Work is paying for your bedding.
I was gonna leave, but now I don’t want to. What is that? Is that a new lamp?
Yeah. I’m thinking of bringing homeware into the store. So that’s a write off.
That’s a write
Do you even know what a write off is? Uh, yeah. It’s when you buy something for your business and the government pays you back for it.
pays for it? Nobody, you write it off. Who writes it off? I don’t know. The gov, the write off people. What? Why are we having this conversation? So if I need
booze to get through my day,
I can just write that off. That’s a stretch.
But the skincare products you got this morning, those
are write off what
skincare products you purchased?
Skincare products. Okay. I am the face of the company if I have acne. What does that say about the legitimacy of the store? That’s not
a write off. That’s not a write off. This.
Not a write off. Oh man. Buzzkill. Yeah. Let’s
just get to today’s trivia question, which was what is a write off? Turns out that David and I both kind of need to learn that I’m gonna be back right after I see how much it is to run a beer line in from the garage.
Hey there, stackers. I’m interior decorator and David Rose, protege. Joe’s mom’s neighbor, Doug. I just got back from the store and you wouldn’t believe the deal I scored on a popcorn machine. It’s only slightly broken with the money I saved. I’m gonna get a projector so we can screen movies down here.
Between all of that income and the write offs, I’ll be wealthy in the next two to three weeks tops. Today’s trivia question is, what’s a write off? The answer? A tax write off is a legitimate business expense that can be claimed as a deduction to lower your taxable income. This includes things like advertisements, repairs, utility bills, and office supplies.
Oh, fudge. Mood lamps didn’t make the cut. Glad I kept my receipts. And now here they are, stackers, the college investors best tax software programs of 2024. Oh, Doug, oh, he didn’t say fudge. So, so fun.
I love that we could have AI do that. Robert Farrington and his team do an awesome list every year of the top tax softwares.
This is gonna sound a little bit garbled. He was on his phone, so I will warn everybody ahead of time about that. But let’s. Let’s start off. I asked Robert generally, did things look, uh, better or worse than they did last year, and this was what he had to say. Did you guys see any significant improvements in any of the platforms or what’s available widely to the consumer this year versus last year?
TaxSlayer continues to just deliver and improve their platforms. I remember four or five years ago, they were kind of like, eh, you know, they’re there but nothing, and they have just been cranking on improving, and they are nipping at the heels of everybody. There’s definitely more disappointment this year and say than, uh, improvements, but there’s still some things that we’re gonna, we’re gonna dive into it.
Let’s, let’s, we’re gonna go do it. It’s interesting because when he talked about OG that there were some disappointments. I, I responded that it’s almost like, uh, for people that know video games, like the new ea, whatever name a sports game came out and all they did was slapped another code of paid on it, called it the next year.
And that’s the problem. But the biggest problem that Robert pointed out was that the government, now the federal government is trying to create a file direct product and people have seen this out there. And, uh, oh gee, he said it’s junk. It is just absolute. Absolute junk. It’s not there yet. It’s gonna be gonna be very difficult, uh, to use that one.
He, he highly recommended not going with, shockingly, not going with the one that the federal governments government model
who could have seen that coming.
They also run Medicaid facilities. You know, those are great too.
They were just here
to help. Yes, we’re here to help, just here to help. But you can still file for free certain federal, you know, uh, uh, limitations, income and whatnot through the major companies.
Yeah. They don’t let you file free for states, but, um, but you can still do a lot of
that for free. Well, it’s funny you say that. I asked Robert what some of the things are when he talks about disappointments, actually state tax. Is one of the big ones you think that you can file for free. And if you were to, at a uh, place where you’ve got a state tax return that you have to file, you’re still gonna have to end up paying whatever the company is that you decide to use to do your state one, so they get you.
They still get, you file the federal one for free, but the state one happens. But there were some other things that he thought was, uh, uh, not that great this year. And this is one that maybe our tax preparers out there have heard of, uh, tech software. eMAR Tax
is now gone. It has merged into Liberty Tax.
And so, uh, for those of you that don’t know, one of the big players in this space is Drake’s Financial Software. And they are a pro, like all, like all the CPAs use Drake. It’s, it’s, it’s a very legit company. But what they’ve been doing is that in buying all these small firms and powering their backends for years, so if you logged into tax software, you’d see that like seven of ’em are all exactly the same with just a different coat of paint on it.
Yeah, this year I think they finally realized that this wasn’t such a great idea, and now they’ve been merging ’em all back in together. Um, and just saying like, Hey, we have one. But in, I don’t know if we’ve seen many commercials yet this year, but uh, if you see a TurboTax one, every single commercial says, free file available for 37% of taxpayers.
It’s on every commercial. And now that you’ve heard me say it, you’re gonna recognize it because that’s the truth. The truth is that 37% of all taxpayers qualified by for free file, and if you’re two thirds of taxpayers, guess what? You’re gonna pay to file your tax. There’s no way around it at this point in
Well, we asked him just overall, and Robert wanted to contend, and we’ll get into this next og, just overall, what was their number one pick? For the top tax filing software out there and he said, you may not wanna use this one because you’re gonna be different. We’ll dive into some of those. But Robert said, here’s their number one for 2024.
This was a source of
contention with our team and I think, you know, a lot of our team, but we are still putting as much as it pains. It like literally pains me to say it, but God, it’s still a really good product. It’s TurboTax. It’s like a bittersweet one is they are the easiest to use product, hands down, not even a question that they have the best, easiest to use tax filing
software out there.
Why do you get consternation then? It sounds like, hey, if it’s the best, then it’s the best. That’s great. Why do you not want? ’cause they
also are the best, highest price. Oh.
Little bit of you get what you pay for, maybe you do
get what you pay for. But what’s even more frustrating this year, which honestly I was one of the votes on our team, they’re like, no, we’re kicking ’em out because of this is they have moved to a non-transparent pricing structure as if they weren’t not transparent enough.
So this year it’d be one of the Turbo Dex website. It’s a range. They cannot tell you before you start what you will pay, and they
refuse to, oh man.
They’ll say it’s zero to $89. And you don’t know what that means. And they don’t make it easy. And honestly, we ran mock returns and like, I couldn’t necessarily even figure out the pricing, just
doing the return.
And then they find out, og you get all the way to the end and they tell you what it’s gonna cost to file it. And then you have a choice, buy a different one and, and not pay and start over, or you have all this crap done and it’s on the doorstep. It’s like they hold you hostage. So
TurboTax also add if, if you do the online file or if you do, you know, a tax software program, wherever the one is that you did last year is probably the one you wanna do this year.
Because from a time saving standpoint, yeah, almost all of them now have logins and that sort of thing so that you know, you can, I. At least it’s already filling in your name and your social and all that sort of stuff. Actually,
the good news is, and Robert answered questions, you can go watch the whole thing on our Instagram.
Robert answered questions about that, and all the top software programs have made the export easy.
Yeah, I guess that’s true. Yeah. You can export it and import it to the next place. Yeah, good point. Yeah, and
he said, and he said this year it’s easier than ever. To change up. So if you’re gonna change up, make sure you keep files on what you had, but the exporting of your old data not as hard as it used to be.
Good point. And everybody’s making it more, more transparent. But I would, I don’t,
I doubt we’ll ever get to see data on this, but it would be really fun to see next year what sales are like for Intuit TurboTax based on the surprises people get on their filing costs this year. ’cause if I used to pay $39 to file and this year it’s.
89, I might be like, yep, next year I’m gonna try tax Act. See how it goes because of how easy it is
to transfer data. Yeah, I think it’s that non-disclosure. Yeah. Until you get to the end. That would drive me crazy. Like that is, that
is a mess. I’m a TurboTax guy. I’ve been doing TurboTax since like almost the year they came out and it, it might be enough this year.
I’ll let you know. We, I can be a case study. I’ll let you know if I get surprised. Just the annoyance of it. It’s sort of like you get the cheap airfare and then you show up and you’re paying for every bag. Oh, you wanna wear shoes on the flight? That’s gonna be another $60. You know, if, right, if, if TurboTax does that to me at the end of my taxes this year, I might, on principle alone, I might go somewhere
It’s funny. That’s three quarters of the reason why I don’t fly spirit, besides the fact that I’m six one and I don’t think the people, but you don’t
have to wear shoes on spirit.
I don’t think the people in front of me like my knees. There’s nothing wrong
with spirit. Don’t try to big time people said the
short guy, right?
He just lashed out at you, dude, now.
Just violence. I brought shoulders. I’ve been working out. I didn’t, I didn’t lash out. I was just saying if you’re my son rides spirit, he just made a short joke. It, I, I didn’t know it was a joke. I thought it was just shots fired calling, uh, the thing, a thing, just being factual.
I just look at cute little short, og I pat ’em on the top of the head. Oh my God. Alright, let’s get down to this. There are some things that people need to. Take into account this year, OG, that we want to get to. Number one is if you’re maximizing credits and deductions, well, credits and deductions. Robert pos is not the thing it used to be.
There’s very few of those people that have a ton of different credits, a ton of different deductions if you do the number one place to go. The company that does that best also is TurboTax, but this is greatly reduced from a few years ago.
I think this is actually helping people when it comes to. Tax preparation because unless you have a lot of real estate taxes, which are capped at $10,000, have a lot of interest on your house or give a lot of money away, which are the kinda the major three things that can contribute to that itemized deductions, then the vast majority of people can skip that whole section and just go standard.
Because they raised the standard deduction so high to kind of make life simpler. But for those people who are have higher mortgage interest or who do donate, you know, more money for charity or you know, some of the other things like, like medical expenses, I. It can obviously makes sense. What we see a lot of people do is bunch their charitable contributions into every other year so that they do qualify.
Oh yeah. Yeah. So let’s say that your mortgage interest is 10,000 bucks a year. Your property taxes are 10,000 bucks a year, and you normally give away $5,000 a year to charity. Well, instead of giving away $5,000 a year, do 10,000 this year, which gets you over the limit. Put in a donor-advised fund. Then skip next year and continue your contributions and then do 10,000 again.
Like basically save it up and do 10,000 every other year instead of 5,000 every year. That way, you know, you’re over that, uh, you’re over that limit. Maybe if you’ve got the cash flow.
I don’t see people talking about charitable contributions. I don’t see people generally go, it’s a write off. Like we, we played in the clip with David.
Don’t do that. Yeah. But
if you’re gonna do it, you might as well do it from a position of strength when it comes to a tax standpoint. Right.
This is the one that I do see. I see people go to charitable giveaway events and then think that those charity auctions, when you take the trip to Cancun, it’s a write off and you win the charity auction for the trip to Cancun.
It’s a write off that you get to write off the whole thing. It’s a write off That is. That is not the case.
Asterisk. Talk to a tax advisor. It’s write off. Talk
to your tax advisor before you try that. Yeah, do that. Uh, student loan borrowers may not know OG that there’s some tax, uh, ramifications of borrowing from the government or wherever you’re borrowing from, but tax layer they’ve got is their number one tax software.
If that’s really what you’re focused in on is, is, is student loans. But student loans, you, there’s a spot for that too.
Yeah, I mean, in some cases you can deduct your student loan interest depending on, you know, some factors there, uh, income in particular. But frankly, all of them are gonna ask this question.
I mean, when you upload the document, it’s going to give you that information again, back to the, uh, standard deduction and kind of making things simpler, fewer and fewer people qualify for the interest deduction on student loans.
For people that are cryptocurrency traders, they recommended TurboTax Premium because they actually get tax data from more of the specific apps than other places do, so they have more, more plugins.
So it’s more likely that that’s not gonna be pain in the ass. By the way, what you also warn people about is, of course when it comes to crypto, you’re gonna be responsible for your cost basis, for your gains and losses. And a great place to track that is a place called Coin Lee. K-O-I-N-L-Y, uh, uh, they recommend for stock market investors.
It was a company that came in second in a lot of categories, h and r block, HR Block Premium. They recommended, uh, just barely less than, uh, TurboTax, uh, just on a, just on a, across the board basis. And let me see if, you know, you can Free file cash app taxes, uh, was their number one. If you’re a landlord tax layer classic.
And for side hustlers, people that have these part-time business, the cash app taxes asks a lot more questions than other ones did og uh, Robert noted, and it’s funny because a lot of people that are, are just starting out of a business on the side. Maybe they started up a website, an Etsy store, they don’t even know what questions to ask.
Yeah. Cash app
taxes was the biggest thing is, is if you have the opportunity to import stuff versus. Manually type it in. You know, if you’re, if you’ve got stock gains and losses, crypto gains and losses, you know, your W twos, your 10 90 nines, like every time you have to move data from one place to another and, and you’re the one pounding on the keyboard, there’s a chance of it being done incorrectly.
Even if you’re uploading it and you’re letting the computer read it, if what you’re looking for hopefully is something that you can just transfer the data directly from the provider. Two, you know, directly from Schwab into TurboTax. I dunno if it does that, but it, but that will save a data entry time.
And then also, you know, some error. You still have to check it, but that’ll likely eliminate all those human errors, potential human errors, transposing numbers, and that sort of stuff.
But a lot of the human errors are just, we don’t know what we don’t know. And he caution the same way Sure that you did earlier, og, which is if you’re a landlord, a side hustle or a small business owner.
Probably good to look into a person. Yeah. Like forget all these Yeah. And look into getting some competent help on your team to do some real tax planning, not just filing. Filing is nice, but do some tax planning ahead of time so you know what to write off later. Agreed. We will link to this entire man.
There’s, there’s lots more categories and Robert and his team go into detail. Thanks so much to Robert Farrington for joining us on Instagram. If you wanna join us on Instagram, just look up Stacking Benjamins and make sure you hit the follow button. We go live every Tuesday and every Thursday. You can either catch the live or you can go back and watch them later.
We had a lot of great questions from you stackers, and what I like about those Instagrams is that you get to ask the questions yourself, and a lot of people did. So thanks to everybody that hung out with us. Hey, if you’re not here to get, uh, help learning what, uh, best direction to head in with your taxes, but you need a better financial plan in general, OG and his team are taking clients.
So head to stack your Benjamins dot com slash og. That gets you to him and his team’s calendar. And you can have a first date with og, maybe a little candlelight, maybe. So pretty magical. Nice music with og. I do say so myself and his team.
Wow. I don’t think you’re gonna increase call volume with this description, interface with you.
To make lovelier financial decisions of the future. Oh, Barry
White in the background. Well, that’s true. I mean, it is that time of the
year. It’s getting, getting close time for love and better financial planning, call OG Stacking. Benjamins
slash og. Oh man. Uh, let’s head on out to the back porch. Doug, we’ve got, um,
so much good stuff.
Yes. I, I suppose we could talk about frivolous things like movies and shows we’re watching, but Joe, there is, there’s so much great stuff happening in the basement right now. I think we gotta call out a few people. Is that cool? Can we do that? Yes. So first of all, I wanna say it’s the, it’s the beginning of the year, so I think it makes sense, but there are a lot of really good, serious financial discussions going on in the basement right now.
We’ve got, uh, David asked for some further clarification. David was one of our better call Saul Sea. Hi, and OG Callers. And he’s asking for a little more clarification on one of our answers. We’ve got a couple of anonymous posts, uh, very seriously asking for other stackers in the basement for some advice on, you know, investment strategies, which I love.
I love to see that stuff. Um, stupidly, uh, no, that’s not the right word, but annoyingly, there’s lots of lion sympathy posts directed at you Still. Uh,
still not down with that. It’s so twice the same episode. I’m the, we, uh, we get the Doug.
Uh, yeah. Well, because look, I’m the only one that occasionally sits in Michigan, but you’re the guy that everybody feels sorry for, ’cause the lions choked and historical epic portions in, uh, the second half.
But look, that’s, let’s just breeze past all of that stuff and let’s talk about two amazing posts. One. They were super cute posts too, especially Ashley who posted a photo of her, her baby. Super cute baby in a Stacking Benjamins shirt. Starting off
right? Yeah. You know, there’s like a rugged kind of a fleece lined work shirt that they’re laying on.
So this is a cool kid. This is a super cool kid. I mean, that’s impressive. That’s good parenting right there, Ashley. But then, but then let’s not forget about Chris. Who posted also super cute. Well, I mean, Chris is a fine looking dude, I suppose. Yeah. Nearly as cute as Ashley’s baby. I really am. I’m, I’m looking from Chris’s chin down.
Yeah, he is holding a super cute kid. Not fine. Great kids are cute. I mean, he is just obviously pandering, but he’s wearing a Doug 2024 shirt. I mean, this is a speak.
Speaking of pandering, it’s an election shirt. I love how you talk about pandering and elections in the same sentence Chris is, or
right next to each other.
Chris is a genius. That much is obvious. And on the back he pointed out that he did Doug.
I thought that too, by the way, Chris. So Chris, there’s this little circle on the back of the, the shirt that says, I dig Doug. And it totally, when you first look at it, it looks like it says, I did Doug. Oh, yeah.
Oh, I, it’s, I mean, when these came out in 2020, I saw that and I’m like, oh, we’re keeping that.
We are not changing the font on that. No way.
Doug notch and putting little notches
Oh yeah. On my belt and my bed posts, uh, whatever. Got
another one. Yeah. Oh
boy did we go too far? There was also somebody who posted that they are responsible for, I thought this was great. They are responsible for a church youth group and, and the main topic of this whole church youth group, I think if I read the Post right, is teaching about finance.
And they reached out to the stacker community saying, what are some topics that they should teach? And I thought, well, that’s a great use of the stacker community. And it dawned on me, maybe he couldn’t just play episodes of this show. In the church youth group, like maybe we are not exactly church ready, is that.
The message I should be getting from that? Oh, I,
I don’t, I don’t know about that. I thought it was a great post though, just about, uh, what lessons to teach, right. And what, um, what to focus on first. A lot of great discussion there too around, um, biblical lessons some people have because it’s a church group.
Mm-Hmm. And other people talking about, um, sadly no mention of. The best book to teach. Stacked your super series guide to Modern Money Management, which by the way, Doug our, our, our book club’s having a lot of fun with right now, people that signed up for
that. You, you’ve gotta be like waste by now. You guys are deep into it, right?
are right now in uh, uh, on session. Three of 10. Session three. Okay, so you’re like knee deep. It’s going very well deep. You’re knee deep. I’m seeing, uh, lots of people though, who are changing the way they think about their goals. Thinking about some people have saved some good money, change their goals, some pretty exciting stuff happening there, but none of that’s important.
Doug, you know what’s really important? What we should have learned today? No, og, he’s got his own joke book out. Oh, you’re
right. That’s, yeah. Pause everything. I,
I do have a few that I thought were particularly strong. I. Sadly, I can’t enter the cup. I love how
he’s like, he’s like, the joke off is fine. Let me give you some ts.
What I just heard in his tone of voice was the equivalent of, yeah, okay, I’m gonna show you how it’s really done. And he hikes up his pants. You know, it’s
like, I mean, keeping with the, keeping with the math and number type of thing. If I got 50 cents for every failed math exam, I’d have $7 and 20 cents by now.
Dad says, Hey son, what are you drinking? Son says, soy milk. Dad says, Ola milk soy padre, which I thought was pretty good. Why can’t you hear a pterodactyl go to the bathroom because his pee is silent? Correct. My father has a heart of a lion and a lifetime ban from the National Zoo.
We have that joke.
Why was Seven Afraid of nine, right? Or six? Afraid of seven.
Yes, because 7, 8, 9, 7,
8, 9. Why would I have a different version? Why was Six Afraid to Seven? Because seven was a registered six offender.
That’s so much better.
Furniture Store keeps calling me. All I wanted was a one night stand. I.
Endless. Wow. But seriously, these stackers, some of you, I mean, OG, just schooled. Those were good. Those were good. Registered six offender. Yeah,
that’s solid. Yeah. But still, but still. Doug save us. What should we what? What should be on
our to-do list please.
God save us. Alright, fine. What’s on our to-do list today? First, take some advice from Robert Barrington. Find the best software for filing based on your lifestyle and plans, not based on what your neighbor is using and own a business or have complicated taxes. Maybe dump software altogether second, maybe hit block on your look at the market every morning.
That’ll cut down on the ulcers and give you some life and probably a better portfolio. But what’s the biggest to do return all of this stuff before Joe sees it? Well, you know, I mean everything but the massage chair, I’m keeping that for myself. It’s got a setting called Night in Bangkok.
I don’t care if I can’t write it off. Thanks to Robert Barrington for joining us today. You can find his list of all the best firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll also include links in our show notes at the Stacking Benjamins dot com website place. The show is the property of SP podcasts, LLC, copyright 2024, and is created by Joe Saul-Sehy.
Our producer is Karen Repine. This show is written by Lisa Curry, who’s also the host of the Long Story Long podcast. With help from me, Joe Kate Yakin, Karen Repine, and Doc G from the Earn and Invest podcast, Kevin Bailey helps us take a deeper dive into all the topics covered on each episode in our newsletter.
Call the two oh one. You’ll find the 4 1 1 on all things money at the 2 0 1. Just visit Stacking Benjamins dot com slash 2 0 1. Wonder how beautiful we all are. Of course you do, but you’ll never know if you don’t. Check out our YouTube version of the show Engineered by Tina Ichenberg. Then you’ll see once and for all that I’m the best thing going for this podcast.
Once we bottle up all this goodness, we ship it to our engineer, the amazing Steve Stewart. Steve helps the rest of our team sound nearly as good as I do right now. Wanna chat with friends about the show later? Mom’s friend Gertrude, Stacey Doe and Julia Garab are our social media coordinators, and Gertrude is the room mother in our Facebook group called The Basement.
So say hello when you see us posting online. To join all the basement fun with other stackers, type Stacking Benjamins dot com slash basement. For more interactive fun, join us on Instagram every Tuesday and Thursday for our Instagram lives. Kate Yakin and Joe host those weekly. Not only should you not take advice from these nerds, don’t take advice from people you don’t know.
This show is for entertainment purposes only. Before making any financial decisions, speak with a real financial advisor. I’m Joe’s Mom’s neighbor, Doug, and we’ll see you next time back here at the Stacking Benjamin Show.