Federal and state refunds come from completely separate entities and there is no rule as to which one will come first or how much time there will be between their arrivals.
TurboTax gives you an estimated date for receiving your refund based on a 21 day average from your date of acceptance, but it can take longer. “21 days” is not a promise from TurboTax or the IRS. Many refunds are taking longer during the pandemic. The IRS is backlogged —-they are still trying to process millions of 2019 returns; and they received over 35 million e-files when e-filing opened for 2020 returns.
Some delays are resulting from incorrect amounts that folks entered for stimulus checks they received. Many people have been confused by the recovery rebate credit and completed it incorrectly. The IRS may delay your refund while they cross-check to see what you received.
First, check your e-file status to see if your return was accepted:
If accepted, they try to process it within three weeks but it can be longer. if you have earned income credit or additional child tax credit, it will be at least the end of February before you see your refund, due to the PATH act that requires that they hold your refund longer.
Once your federal return has been accepted by the IRS, only the IRS has any control. TurboTax does not receive any updates from the IRS. Your ONLY source of information about your refund now is the IRS.
You need your filing status, your Social Security number and the exact amount (line 34of your 2020 Form 1040) of your federal refund to track your Federal refund:
To track your state refund:
If you chose to have your TurboTax fees deducted from your federal refund, that will take some extra time, while the third party bank handles the refund processing.
Interesting chart put out by the TAS office showing the possible paths a return will take as it is "processed" ... so you can see that even when the "audit" docs are sent the return still has to go thru more hoops before a refund is issued. How long certain stages take to pass thru is totally dependent on the # of humans available to do the job and as we all know the IRS is way behind due to the covid shut down earlier this year ... so I can see where many places could have a large backlog of returns.
This chart also shows how returns with refunds and with balance dues are handled in separate "lines" which makes so much sense that balance due returns have been delayed in processing this year as they focus all the personnel available to getting out the refunds first.
Also consider that the same employees were redirected to putting out stimulus checks this year which means some other processes were either completely closed or severely understaffed.