# Math 101 Question

Greetings, all,

I’m attempting to decipher the new healthcare tax credit; I’m having diffculty figuring out this formula. My accountant says we are not eligible, but he cannot say why.[!]

I’ve found a formula to double-check, but not sure what the square brackets indicate. Here is the formula as I found it online:

PC3=MC-[MC((FTE-10/15)] + [MC((AAW-25000)/25000)]

Values:
MC \$36,626.70
AAW \$36,255.30
FTE 19.93

Not knowing if the square brackets are significant, I’ve just calculated by substituting regular parentheses in, which shows I get a refund PC3.

Any help would be appreciated. I’m not a math guy by trade

Square brackets mean the same thing as parentheses. It’s just convention to use them sometimes to make formulas easier to read.

Thanks, Ultrafilter; I was hoping that was the case!

:cheers:

Yeah, people sometimes use different types of brackets to show different levels of bracketing. Round brackets to start with, square brackets around them, curly brackets around those, and so on. I believe there are other areas of math where the different types of brackets symbolize different things, though.

It looks like there are unneeded brackets in that expression, given the standard priority of operations (multiplication and division before addition and subtraction). Would this give the same result?

PC3 = MC - ( MC * ( FTE - 10 / 15 ) + MC * ( AAW - 25000 ) / 25000 )

And is “FTE - 10” supposed to be bracketed as one quantity, then divided by 15? 'Cause the way it’s written, you just subtract 10/15 from it.

Good catch - typo by me; I entered by hand. :mad:

PC3=MC-[MC((FTE-10)/15)] + [MC((AAW-25000)/25000)]

It would appear the OP left off a closing bracket after the 10.

ETA: NM

Ah! Now it looks good. The brackets were unbalanced, and it was giving me a slight headache.

Not so fast. I don’t believe that formula is correct. The credit is supposed to decrease as average wages increase. As written it will increase. The third term should be subtracted rather than added.

I presume that you got the formula from this flow chart [pdf]. It looks like they messed it up. The average wage term should be subtracted in PC3 just as in PC2.

You are absolutely correct; I did use that exact resource. I just got done telling my partner that the formula appears to be incorrect.

Looks like I’ll have to terminate some employees and cut wages.