Tax-exempt money market funds experienced their largest outflows of the year so far as $4.8 billion exited and total net assets settled at $272.12 billion in the week ended April 30, according to the Money Fund Report, a service of iMoneyNet.com.

The week before, $3.77 billion of cash was yanked from the funds as total net assets dropped to $276.92 billion. That came on the heels of $3.24 billion of outflows for the week ended April 16.

The funds dropped 1.7% in the final week of April, which is in line with a year ago when the funds fell a similar amount the week ended April 25, according to Mike Krasner, managing editor of iMoneyNet Inc.

Krasner noted that tax-exempt funds also lost 1.5% and 1.3% in April 26, 2010, and April 27, 2009, respectively.

While he said seasonal factors could be contributing to the heavy April outflows as they typically arrive following the April 15 deadline for individuals paying federal income taxes, market conditions are also convincing investors to withdraw cash.

“Assets continue to leak out primarily due to historically low yields and returns,” Krasner said. Year to date, tax-free money market funds are down 6.1%, he added.

The average seven-day simple yield for the 443 reporting tax-exempt funds was unchanged at 0.02% for the third week in a row — up from 0.01%, where it had been stuck for the previous 31 weeks. The average maturity fell one day to 26 days.

Among the 1,084 taxable funds, outflows of $22.47 billion pushed total net assets down to $2.26 trillion in the week ended May 1. The week before, the funds saw inflows of $11.87 billion and assets finished at $22.85 trillion.

The average, seven-day simple yield for the taxable funds remained at 0.03% for the 13th week straight, while the average maturity dipped to 45 days from 46 previously.

Overall, the combined assets of the 1,527 money funds fell by $27.27 billion and total net assets closed at $2.534 trillion for the week ended May 1. The week before saw inflows of $8.10 billion, boosting total net assets to $2.561 trillion.

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