As for using pay stubs, the only real pro is the expedited acceptance and processing of one’s tax return. The downside is, however, more. First, you are not allowed to file your tax return with your last pay stub. In fact, all tax preparers who file a tax return with a pay stub could lose their EFIN’s if found to have done so. Therefore, the first con is that it is illegal. The next con, is that the pay stubs do not contain all the relevant information. In some cases, there could be additional information regarding retirement and now there will be information regarding healthcare. Finally, this year, as a result of the shutdown, the tax-filing season will start late.
Therefore, even if you could file early with your pay stub, you would have to wait regardless.
As for RAL’s, the biggest dangers are with exorbitant fees and claims from other financial institutions. RAL products are short-term loans that usually come with high fees that will eat away at a refund. By using the product, you could find yourself with a much smaller refund just from using the bank product. Additionally, if a taxpayer has debts with other institutions, the taxpayer will usually not see any money and his/her refund will go to those institutions that claim a debt exists with that taxpayer. This could be problematic if the taxpayer disputes the debt as being their debt (e.g. created through identity theft).