California Refund Direct Deposit Time Frame

Suppose that you have done everything on your California tax forms. Not only have you e-filed, but you have requested direct deposit. When will that tax refund money get into your bank account? 

So how long does the California Refund direct deposit take? The California Refund direct deposit usually takes about 3 weeks to 1 month to process, and then it can take 2-3 business days for the direct deposit to reach your bank account.

The wait will be longer if you filed via a paper form. 

Why Does My Refund Take So Long? 

Your refund takes as long as it does for multiple reasons. The biggest reasons are accuracy and checking for fraud. If you fill out your taxes correctly, you save yourself and others a lot of time! 

Here is an approximate timetable for your tax refund: 

Action Time for Digital Time for Paper 
File your taxes. <24 hoursDepends on the individual. 
Taxes get to the government. <24 hours7–10 business days (USPS)
The government approves your taxes. 3 weeks 1 month 
You receive your refund. 2–3 business days. Up to 3 months.  

As you can see, it helps to file your taxes electronically. This makes it easier on the people filing your taxes; you have done one step for them by saving them some typing. Even if it doesn’t expedite your taxes, they will get done a little more quickly.  

The time after which you can use your direct deposit also depends on your bank. Most banks require 2–3 business days to process direct deposits. That means you shouldn’t count weekends and holidays when doing mental math. 

People who do not choose direct deposit receive a debit card instead. This is not faster than direct deposit by any means. Your tax refund is at the mercy of the postal service, meaning that thousands of dollars could be lost or stolen. 

Can I Do Anything to Get My Refund Faster? 

If you have already sent in your tax forms, there is not much you can do to get your tax refund more quickly. But there are some things you can do to help your taxes move through the system faster. These all involve you making smart decisions before sending your taxes off. 

. Here are a few things you can do to make processing your taxes easier: 

  • Double-check your math and other information. If tax software helps you do the right math, it may save you stress down the line. 
  • File electronically. There is no benefit to using a paper form, and it gets your information into the system faster. 
  • Attach all necessary documents to your tax forms. 

And, of course, request direct deposit! This will save time and stress once your tax forms have been processed. If you submit electronically and choose direct deposit, things go a lot faster. 

How Do I Use “Where’s My Refund?” 

If you want to know the status of your tax refund, use California’s “Where’s My Refund?” page. The site will ask for your social security number (SSN), the amount of your tax refund, and other identifying information. Once that is done, you will be able to check your tax forms’ status. 

The information you can check on “Where’s My Refund?”  includes: 

  • When your tax forms were received. 
  • Any issues with your forms or refund. 
  • Status of your refund. 
  • If your return did not get you a refund. 
  • The time frame in which you can expect your refund to be deposited or mailed. 

It is almost always better to receive your refund via direct deposit. Having your refund sent straight to your bank account is both faster and safer than waiting for money in the mail. A wait of 2–3 days is nothing compared to having your refund stolen or lost! 

But California Has Another Site! 

California has another website where you can check the approximate wait times for specific taxes. It shows you the wait times for general tax returns as well as business taxes and more. If you are looking for a timetable for another tax type, the government has you covered. 

This is less specific to your tax form and is more of a general estimate of various types of state taxes. Do not get concerned if this site says you are within the acceptable range. Please follow the instructions on the website for any particulars. 

Something Might Have Gone Wrong with My Refund. Now What? 

If you think something has gone wrong with your taxes, there are ways that the government can help you. The State of California Franchise Tax Board has a webpage with self-guided help. They also have numbers and an online chat feature. Your tax issue will be resolved sooner rather than later. 


Tax refunds in California may take a little longer than in some places. On average, e-filing will get your refund into your bank account in approximately 3 weeks, with an extra week if you file using paper. Likewise, always request to have your tax refund delivered to your bank account via direct deposit; it’s safer and faster than sending a debit card through the mail. 

Before you call anybody, please make sure your taxes are outside of the acceptable waiting range. You can check your refund using sites like Where’s My Refund and California’s FAQ page on all types of taxes. Better still, the State of California Franchise Tax Board’s webpage has a chat feature to help with whatever issue you have! 

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What days does FTB deposit refunds?

The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) deposits refunds on weekdays, excluding holidays. FTB deposits refunds to taxpayers’ bank accounts within 21 days of the return’s acceptance. For taxpayers who do not receive a refund within 21 days, they should contact FTB’s customer service line.

How long does it take for direct deposit to be approved after refund?

Direct deposit is a convenient and secure way to receive a tax refund. Generally, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) approves direct deposits within 21 days of filing a return. However, the time frame may be extended depending on the complexity of the return or the accuracy of the information provided.

How long does it take for FTB to process payment?

The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) processes payments in a timely manner. Typically, payments are processed within 24-48 hours after they are received. Taxpayers can also set up payment plans with FTB to spread out their payments over an extended period of time.

Can direct deposit refund come early?

Yes, it is possible for a direct deposit refund to come early. This is because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses the direct deposit method to issue refunds quickly. Taxpayers can also check the status of their refund online through the IRS website or the IRS2Go app.
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