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How to use your tax refund now to save you money this summer

Jeanie Ahn
Senior Producer/Reporter

Every Friday our Personal Finance team will round up consumer news you need to know ahead of the weekend, on a segment we call “Family First” for YFi PM. Read below for this week’s round-up on taxes, cheap airfare, and a new warning for parents.

Final weekend to file taxes

Tax day is Monday, so this is the final weekend to file before you need to file for an extension. Thirty percent of Americans still haven’t filed their returns, according to the latest IRS report. That means another 49 million returns still need to be filed. Tax refunds are $31 less on average, down by 1.1% — and total refunds issued by the IRS are behind by 2.6%, or $5.8 billion.

If you’re filing using mobile apps, beware of fake ones that are impersonating well-known online tax filing services like H&R Block, that trick consumers into downloading malware onto their devices. A new report by RiskIQ cites 30% of mobile tax apps have been blacklisted. Not only can these blacklisted apps steal your identity, but the spyware software installed when you download these apps can spy on everything a user does, even if they are not using their phone, warns RiskIQ.

Related: Your last-minute questions about taxes answered

Why right now is the best time to book your summer travel

Once you’ve filed your taxes securely, you might want to think about using your tax refund on your summer airfare. Travel site Hopper forecasts prices will be 7% higher next month, and could drop down again in July. Round-trip tickets on domestic flights are $229 on average this month, up 2.3% compared to March. But compared to prices at the same time two years ago, flight prices are down 6.3%.

For international flights, travel experts recommend booking five to six months in advance.

Wake-up call for parents with baby sleepers

A baby sleeper linked to 32 infant deaths is still on the market, after the American Academy of Pediatrics called on maker Fisher-Price to withdraw the product this week. Rather than a recall, Fisher-Price and the Consumer Safety Production Commission issued a joint warning to consumers on April 5 that parents should stop using the product after 3 months of age, or once their child exhibits rollover capabilities.

“Because deaths continue to occur, CPSC is recommending consumers stop use of the product by three months of age, or as soon as an infant exhibits rollover capabilities. CPSC has previously warned consumers to use restraints in infant inclined sleep products. Fisher-Price warns consumers to stop using the product when infants can roll over, but the reported deaths show that some consumers are still using the product when infants are capable of rolling and without using the three point harness restraint.”

Watch more:

How to get more time to file your taxes

Why getting audited can be a good thing for your business

How to tackle taxes in retirement