This my first year filing taxes, so I have a couple questions. 1. Does the federal or CA refund comes first and 2. When the CA one comes does it usually be the amount that was expected?
The federal and state refunds are processed and issued by 2 different taxing authorities and are sent separately. If either refund is not what you expected ( either more or less ) then a letter of explanation will come in the mail in a couple of weeks ... until you get that notice you may not know what they changed.
No. It was the right amount. But it is possible for the IRS or state to find something wrong and adjust your return. Or keep some of your refund for something you owe. Did you get a refund for a different amount then you were expecting? From who? If it's for more the IRS has been adding interest to your refund.
The FTB Franchise Tax Board is the California Refund. They will send you a letter saying what the changed. Did you check your actual CA 540 return line 115?
I would check over your return and see if you can see anything wrong especially in the payments section. Make sure you agree with all the amounts listed. Like is the difference the same or close to the refund you got last year? Maybe you put down that you applied last year's refund to this year? Or you put down you made a payment with an extension or paid an estimated payment that you didn't make?