There is a field of study that shows that you cannot teach an adult anything that is contrary to their current opinion without first challenging or disproving their current opinion.
I recently had an email war with a preparer of tax depreciation schedules about what you can claim Division 43 on… either the historic construction costs or the purchase price of a subsequent buyer (yes I know it is obviously the historic construction cost – or “undeducted construction expenditure” to be precise).
He said what he thought was correct. I said what I thought was correct. He restated his opinion. I quoted legislation (section 43-70) proving my position. He restated his opinion. I quoted Taxation Rulings (TR 97/25) proving my position. He restated his opinion… and then I stopped the never ending circle and showed him not why I was right, but rather I engaged with his understanding and proved it was wrong. And it worked.
I found a quote on the ATO website where the Commissioner stated that you cannot use the purchase price for Division 43, directly contradicting his position. I then stated exactly what I had said before (look at 43-70 and TR 97/25) but now, with his previous position challenged, he would accept the merit of my argument.
So from now on, when I am trying to teach people about tax, I am going to ask myself is there a myth I have to dispel first before I explain what I really want them to know.
And here is my first attempt at writing training this way… Expose the myth, then teach the truth (wow that is getting a bit to deep)…