As the April 17 federal income tax filing deadline approaches, the Internal Revenue Service has reminded taxpayers that filing for a six-month extension is a simple process.

Those seeking an extension can visit the “free file” link at www.irs.gov and follow the directions to electronically request an extension on Form 4868.

The extension lasts until Oct. 15. Taxpayers must estimate their tax liability on the form and pay any amount due before receiving an extension.

Without an extension, taxpayers typically incur a 5 percent-per-month penalty based on their unpaid balance.

Of the 10.5 million extension forms received by the IRS, 4 million were filed electronically, according to the agency. Extensions can also be requested through the paper Form 4868, tax software or through a paid tax preparer.***

A California Senate bill meant to foster greater adoption of financial literacy training in schools passed a significant milestone after unanimous approval from the Senate Education Committee.

Authored by Southern California Senator Ted Lieu, the bill, known as SB 1080, would formally encourage school districts to provide instruction related to personal finance within their economics curricula. It would also require the state Department of Education to include financial literacy material in textbooks for mathematics and history-social science.

“If we’d had better financial literacy among our citizenry, the financial crisis of the last decade would have been mitigated,” said Mr. Lieu, in a written statement.

Many schools and districts, including those in the North Bay, have chosen to integrate financial literacy into their instruction. However, while the effort has support from as high as the state superintendent and the White House, those efforts remain a patchwork as education systems focus on a myriad of concerns and budget constraints.

The bill now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee, and could ultimately go before the Senate, the State Assembly and ultimately the governor for ratification or veto.***

The five Bay Area offices of accounting firm Burr Pilger Mayer, including the office in Santa Rosa, are preparing to shut down on Friday, May 18th for the 16th-annual “Because People Matter Day,” a company-wide community service effort.

On that day, more than 400 employees and partners will donate more than 3,200 hours of community service to various regional nonprofits.***Submit items for this column to Business Journal Staff Writer Eric Gneckow, 707-521-4259 eric.gneckow@busjrnl.com.