Good news- the state of North Carolina is attempting to publicize the information that they intend to promptly pay tax refund this year. By promptly, they mean 30-45 days within filing your tax return. This is different than the past few years, when if you didn't file early the state ran out of refund money and might keep you waiting months to receive your refund. If they paid that late they did often have to pay you interest. They have decided that borrowing to pay the refunds on time will be cheaper than the interest they were paying the tax payers.
On the flip side of this, state tax returns can not be electronically filed until the federal tax return has been electronically accepted. Unfortunately, with the last minute federal tax changes unless you have the simplest tax return (no itemized deduction,s etc) you won't be able to electronically file your federal return until mid to late February. Life as an accountant is never as boring as people make it out to be!