About Optima Tax Relief

By Derek Lakin
HighYa Staff Updated on: Sep 25, 2017

Do you owe more in taxes than you can afford to pay? If so, Optima Tax Relief is a full-service firm that specializes in resolving and reducing IRS or state tax debt.

In business since 2010, the company’s two-phase resolution program promises to help reduce the overall balance you owe to the IRS, prevent you from losing your home or other assets, avoid levies against your bank account, prevent wage garnishment—and help you enjoy a little peace of mind once again. This process includes:

  1. Establish communication with the IRS and review your case summary options. Generally, this lasts 2-4 weeks.
  2. Resolve your problem by complying with the IRS to achieve the best resolution. This part of the process can last 3-9 months.

If you’re under the IRS’s microscope, all of this probably sounds like a welcome change. But can Optima Tax Relief provide a solution to your problem? We’ll begin by taking a look at the industry as a whole.

Why Are There So Many Tax Relief Companies?

As of 2009, the IRS estimated that “8.2 million Americans owed over $83 billion in back taxes.” And of those who needed to repay installments on their debt, the IRS charged each individual an average of $10K in penalties and interest.

The bottom line is that you’d better pay your taxes on time, or the IRS will be diligent about collecting their debt, whether this involves taking your home or garnishing your wages.

This is where companies like Optima Tax Relief come in, who act as an intermediary between you and the IRS. What does this mean?

They’ll make sure all your paperwork is in order, speak directly with an assigned IRS representative for your case, and attempt to find a resolution. This could involve (to name just a few possible outcomes) a reduction in your debt, lower interest and fees, reasonable payment plans, or avoiding wage garnishment.

Because of the widespread problem of back taxes, there are hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of popular tax relief companies in direct competition with Optima Tax Relief. This includes several we’ve written about in the past, such as Tax Defense Network, Government Tax Lien Network, and 911 Tax Relief.

But outside of their customer reputations, is there anything that really sets one of these tax relief companies apart from one another? Or, do they all pretty much work the same way?

Let’s start answering your questions by learning what Optima’s customers are saying.

Client Feedback for Optima Tax Network

Since writing our original article, nearly 20 HighYa readers have provided feedback about their experiences with Optima Tax Relief, giving the company an average rating of 2.5 stars. Many compliments related to professional customer support and valuable results, while complaints often referenced support issues and no results.

On the other hand, the company had nearly 400 customer reviews on TrustPilot, where 82 percent rated their experiences as four or five-stars. As on HighYa, common compliments cited solid customer service and effective resolutions with the IRS.

Complaints (what few there were) frequently related to high prices, drawn-out settlement processes, and results that did not meet customers’ expectations. In each of these instances, the company replied with unique—not scripted or canned—responses to help find a resolution.

Santa Ana, CA-based Optima Tax Relief had an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, with more than 400 customer reviews (320+ of which were positive) and 170 closed complaints as of 9/14/17.

There, common customer complaints referenced services that weren’t worth the money, as well as various support issues (no response to repeated requests, missed phone appointments, etc.).

Finally, among their other accomplishments, Optima was ranked the third overall fastest growing company (number one within the financial industry) in 2015, received a BBB Torch Award for Business Ethics that same year, and was named as one of Orange County Business Journal’s best places to work in 2017.

It’s also worth noting that they’re one of the only major competitors licensed by IRS as a Continuing Education Provider.

How much will you pay for Optima’s services?

Optima Tax Relief Pricing & Fees

Optima Tax Relief provides all prospective clients with a free, no-obligation consultation.

From there, fees are variable. This means that what you ultimately pay depends on the details of your case; usually, the more you owe, or the more complex your case, the higher your fees will be.

After speaking with a company representative, we learned that the initial investigation is priced at $495. From there, we read about fees during our research ranging anywhere from $4K to $23K. The rep also emphasized:

We do not want our clients to pay us for services that are not defined, which has helped us take over this industry over the last few years. We never go back on our pricing that we initially quote after the $495 investigation, and often times provide additional services that may come up during the course of our representation, but without any additional cost.

Optima’s services come with a 15-day money back guarantee, which you can request by contacting the company at 800-536-0734.

A Note About Optima Tax Relief’s Charity Efforts

The company representative we spoke with emphasized that Optima has made it a goal in 2017 to increase their charity efforts, which has resulted in being named one of the Top 50 Civic Companies in Orange County.

This involvement includes assisting the Second Harvest Food Bank of OC, the Jeans Days Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County, Autism Speaks Southern California, the Orangewood Foundation, and Interval House.

Customer reputation, fees, and charitable involvement aside, is a tax relief service like Optima your best option when dealing with the IRS?

How to Decide If You Need Tax Relief Services

According to the Federal Trade Commission, when deciding if a tax relief company is right for you, one of the most important factors to consider is how much you owe to the IRS. Why? Because if it’s less than $10K, you can contact the agency directly and request an installment agreement, which by law, they can’t deny.

Yes, you’ll likely be assessed a slight penalty and accompanying interest, but if you only owe a small amount, this could represent much less money than the overall fees charged by a tax relief company. When you speak to the IRS, you can even directly request an Offer in Compromise (OIC) to reduce the overall amount you owe.

Next, it’s important to point out that there are hundreds of tax relief companies in the marketplace, all of which provide essentially the same services, so customer reputation should play a meaningful role in your decision. Questions to ask:

  • Are customers reporting mostly positive experiences?
  • Do you notice any common complaints?
  • When reading through customer compliments, do many of them seem to match your situation (e.g., very large bill, more than a couple years behind, etc.)?
  • What’s their Better Business Bureau rating and corresponding feedback?

SuperMoney’s Adam Latham also recommends finding out how many attorneys the company has on staff, the number of support reps available, if the firm has different payment options and a money back guarantee, and if they make unrealistic promises.

Finally, as noted in the FTC link above, just because a tax relief company agrees to work with you, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you qualify for relief with the IRS. Optima Tax Relief expressly notes this on their website by stating, "Each individual case is unique, and we may not be able to save you anything at all."

Should You Choose Optima Tax Relief To Represent You?

Optima Tax Relief had a mostly positive online customer reputation among hundreds of reviews at the time of our research, and a company representative provided direct, open responses to many of our questions.

And while you might end up paying (sometimes much) more when everything’s said and done, their $495 initial fee seemed competitive. If you’re not satisfied within the first 15 days, you can even request your money back.

However, as we learned from the Federal Trade Commission, since the process can cost a meaningful amount of money in fees, it might be worthwhile to at least reach out to the IRS on your own in hopes of a possible settlement. If that doesn’t work out, it might make sense to get in touch with a reputable company like Optima Tax Relief.

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39 Consumer Reviews for Optima Tax Relief

Average Consumer Rating: 3.7
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 24 4 star: 3 3 star: 1 2 star: 0 1 star:  11
Bottom Line: 67% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 39
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  • A very professional and compassionate company

    I was very nieve about tax laws and the options available to me. The first person I spoke to was Jonathan, and he explained everything to me. The steps they would take to resolve a solution with the IRS, the cost, and the items I needed to provide to them. I was a little surprised at the time it took to resolve the case. I felt like I had to keep sending in the same items every few months. Overall, I was very satisfied with their service.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • Nov 17, 2017

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      Thank you for your positive rating! The length of the process to resolve tax issue varies depending on your specific situation, so we are glad that you gave us the opportunity to resolve your case. We wish you the very best!

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  • Optima Tax Relief provided relief!

    • Irmo, SC,
    • Nov 16, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Optima Tax Relief was an impeccable company! My experience was nothing short of amazing, and it is because of the help I received from Optima Tax Relief that I was able to become a homeowner.

    Often times mistakes are made with the IRS, and it is not until a person owes the IRS a large amount of money that they realize the problem with what was done.

    Owing the IRS is not only stressful because it is a debt, but it is the risk of property seizures and things similar to that which escalates the stress level.

    I am no longer plagued by the issues I had with the IRS, and that is because of Optima Tax Relief. Once I put my issues in the hands of Optima Tax Relief, it was as if a burden had been lifted. They worked on my issues with the IRS and in turn, I became a homeowner, and for that, I could not be more grateful. I recommend Optima Tax Relief without hesitation to anyone with tax issues or IRS issues.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • Nov 17, 2017

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      We appreciate your positive rating and for taking the time to share your positive experience with our services. Thank you for your recommendation. We hope you have a wonderful day!

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  • Excellent, professional, and friendly

    I just completed a 5-year relationship with Optima Tax Relief that settled my claim with the IRS, after 5 years. During the process, Optima kept me totally informed as to the steps and showed professionalism while still remaining friendly and easy to work with. I would recommend Optima Tax to anyone with tax problems. They are wonderful!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • Nov 14, 2017

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      Thank you for your positive feedback. We are happy that we were able to help resolve your tax issue. We hope you have a wonderful day!

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Amazing

    My husband was $10,000 in debt. We were both very stressed and didn't know what to do. My mom came up with the idea of going to a tax relief person, and as she was telling me this, their commercial came on. I immediately picked up the phone. The person on the other side gave us our life back and instant relief when she said "yes we can help you." They were always professional and courteous. If you're in debt, I strongly urge you to call Optima Tax.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • Nov 14, 2017

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      Talk about a sign! We are glad that you decided to give us a call after hearing one of our ads. Thank you for giving us a call to help your husband resolve his tax debt issue. We appreciate your positive rating, and we wish you and your family the very best.

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  • We owed $10,000

    We owed almost $10,000 and Optima Tax got it down to $200.00. We went from being really stressed to kicking our feet up and relaxing after our first phone call. We knew we were with the right people.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Nov 6, 2017

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      What great news! We are so happy to hear about your final result. Thank you for sharing your positive experience. We hope you have a great day!

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  • Optima is an excellent company, friendly people to work with, and they know what they are doing

    I had several years of unfiled taxes and owed $19,000 to IRS. I talked to Optima, and they took over. When it was done I got a refund, a large refund. If anyone has tax problems, I would highly suggest giving Optima a call. They will help. I now owe the IRS nothing thanks to Optima.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • Nov 6, 2017

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      Thank you so much for your positive rating. We are pleased to hear that we were able to help resolve your tax issues, along with helping to obtain a refund. That is great! We hope you have a wonderful day.

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  • A satisfied customer

    Optima has been fantastic. They walked me through and followed up on everything they said they would do. It was a long and drawn out process to get things done right, but well worth it. Thank you so very much. They saved me 10's of thousands of dollars.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Optima helped me when I was in trouble with IRS.

    They helped reduce my debt. I was hoping for a bigger release, but my monthly payment was better than before, and I am able to handle it better. Yes, I will owe them until 2040 or beyond, but that is ok. I did not like the fact that when I do future taxes, I have to pay any amount that I owe in full.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Resolution completed

    I was deep in debt owing approximately $35,000 in back taxes to the IRS and I didn't know what I could do.

    An advertisement about Optima Tax Relief on the radio peeked my interest, so I called the 800 number. Dean, a senior consultant, was so nice to me, he eased my mind and told me they could help.

    From the very beginning, their team of experts took control of my situation, put me under their protection, and worked diligently to resolve my tax dilemma. I was approved for an Offer in Compromise. I owe the IRS only $250 payable in payments.

    I am forever grateful to the entire team at Optima Tax for their continued hard work in getting my tax situation resolved. I highly recommend Optima Tax Relief to everyone who needs a resolution to their tax dilemma.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful
    Updated review

    Excellent customer service

    • Leesville, LA,
    • Oct 27, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    The team at Optima Tax Relief conducted themselves in a professional manner. They worked very hard in resolving my tax issues, and for that I would rate them an A-plus.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • Previous review
    • Sep 22, 2017

    Worst experience ever

    Milked me to my last dime. I really could not afford the services but made a sacrifice to end my IRS nightmare. They had their most elite con artist to bate you into paying for the service. Once they have collected their fee, they then assign someone with less experience and people skills to tell you that they couldn't help your situation. The promise was that if they couldn't help that they would return your money. I haven't received a dime back. This experience caused me to have a stroke. Worst experience ever.

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  • Very happy

    • Littleton, CO,
    • Oct 27, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Great company. Great people. Great experience. Excellent outcome! Make the call. You will not be disappointed. Do not go up against the IRS without these guys in your corner.

    I was a little skeptical at first. But that was put aside from the very first phone call. I couldn’t be any happier with Optima and their entire staff. Thanks guys!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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