How Long Does It Take for a State Refund Direct Deposit?

Many Americans eagerly await their tax refunds after completing state and federal taxes. These two taxes are separate, and so are their refunds. The IRS is a mess, but will your state tax refund get to you more quickly? 

How long does it take for a state refund direct deposit? It takes anywhere from two weeks to two months to get your state tax refund into your bank account, and then 2–3 days for that cleared refund to reach your bank account.

The amount of time varies by state, your bank, and if you have filled everything out correctly. 

Why Does My State Refund Take So Long? 

The time it takes to process your refund is a combination of the time it takes your state to process your taxes and the time it takes for your bank to process direct deposits. 

Different states give different approximations of tax refund processing times. Here is a small sample of state tax processing times, assuming you want to receive your refund via direct deposit:

State Processing Time (Electronic) Processing Time (Paper) 
New York Up to 3 weeks. Up to 6 weeks. 
Illinois 2–3 weeks. 6–8 weeks. 
California Up to 2 weeks. 10–12 weeks. 
Louisiana Up to 60 days. 12–14 weeks. 
Hawaii 7–8 weeks. 9–10 weeks. 

Processing paper tax forms always takes longer than processing them electronically. Mailing your refund as a check also adds around 2 weeks to your wait. 

The second hurdle your refund must jump over is your bank. Most banks take 2–3 business days to process your direct deposit. Do not count weekends and holidays when doing mental math! 

But in the case of tax refunds, banks have a right to be extra cautious. Banks can withhold your direct deposit if they see an abnormally large amount of money going into your account or other suspicious activity. Since tax refunds can be thousands of dollars, they may suspend your deposit! 

If you think your bank may be withholding your tax refund, call customer service. The sooner you let them know, the sooner they can get your tax refund into your bank! 

How Do I Use “Where’s My Refund?” 

The best way to check the status of your tax refund is to use your state government’s “Where’s My Refund?” page. You will be asked to enter your social security number (SSN) and other identifying information. Once you have that information, you can monitor the status of your tax refund at any time. 

The information you can check on the website includes: 

  • Whether your tax forms have been received. 
  • If there are any issues with your forms or refund. 
  • The processing status of your refund. 
  • If your return did not result in a refund. 
  • The approximate time frame in which you can expect your refund to be deposited or mailed. 

Your refund will then have to wait a few more days to get into your bank account via direct deposit or your mailbox via USPS. It is almost always better to receive your refund via direct deposit for both security and speed.  

Do Federal and State Refunds Come Together? 

No. Federal and state taxes are separate. Federal refunds usually come more quickly than state refunds, but there are exceptions. 

I Requested a Direct Deposit but Got a Check Instead. Why? 

There may be several reasons you received a paper check in the mail instead of getting money in your bank account. The most common ones are: 

  • It is your first time filling out tax forms. 
  • Some of your information was incorrect. 
  • The government could not verify your bank account. 
  • Your bank rejected the direct deposit. 
  • Your financial institution is not in the United States. 

Check your mail for any information about why your refund was sent as a check instead. If you filled out something incorrectly, see if you can fix it, and remember that for next year! 

Can I Do Anything to Get My Refund Faster? 

If you have already sent in your tax forms, there is nothing you can do to get your refund more quickly. Calling Tax Assistance will not do anything except tie up the line. Once your taxes are in, they’re at the mercy of the system. 

That said, anything you want to do to speed up your refund must be done while you are filling out the form. Here are a few things you can do when filing your taxes so that you get your refund ASAP: 

  • Make sure all of your information is correct. 
  • Double-check your math. 
  • 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. 

All of the above steps will allow the government to process your taxes faster. 

Do not depend on your tax refund for anything urgent. There is no way to get your refund any faster—just fill out your forms correctly the first time and wait. If there is an error, respond to any requests promptly. 

There is also no way to guarantee your tax refund by a certain date. If you would like to check the status of your tax refund, check your state’s “Where’s My Refund?” page. Pages that allow you to confirm the status of your refund should come from official government websites—nowhere else! 


Your tax refund is incredibly important. For both speed and safety, you should receive your money via direct deposit. But the time it takes to get that money can vary depending on where you are in the country and certain circumstances with your bank. 

But there are some things you can do to make your refund process go more quickly. They boil down to “get your taxes right the first time” and “file electronically, including requesting direct deposit.” 

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Do state refunds take longer than federal?

Yes, state refunds typically take longer than federal refunds. This is because states may have different processing times and may have different rules and regulations regarding when they are able to issue refunds. Additionally, the IRS may receive more federal returns than state returns, which can lead to longer wait times for state refunds.

How long does it take for a refund to be sent direct deposit?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) generally issues refunds through direct deposit within 21 days after the return is accepted. The exact time frame depends on the processing system used by the IRS and the financial institution. The IRS recommends that taxpayers use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on the IRS website to check the status of their refund.

Does federal or state taxes come first?

The order in which federal and state taxes are due typically depends on the type of tax. Generally, federal taxes are due first, with most taxes due on April 15th of each year. However, some states may have different deadlines or may require certain taxes to be paid before federal taxes. It is important to check with the relevant state and federal tax agencies to determine the specific deadlines for any given tax year.

Do federal and state refunds come together?

No, federal and state refunds do not come together. Federal taxes are paid to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), while state taxes are paid to the individual state’s Department of Revenue. The timing of the refunds is also different, with federal refunds typically arriving faster than state refunds.
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