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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48 Consumer Reviews for Optima Tax Relief

Average Consumer Rating: 3.9
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 31 4 star: 4 3 star: 1 2 star: 0 1 star:  12
Bottom Line: 71% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 48
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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Great team

    • Florida,
    • Jan 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was grateful to have contacted Optima Tax Relief. Their staff of people came to my rescue and helped resolve a difficult and costly issue. They kept me in the loop during the entire experience with emails, phone calls and they are still right by my side now. When I had a death in my family in December, and things looked bad over the holidays, they took the time to express their concerns and even sent flowers. I would say these people went beyond in their assistance for me. I hope to never be in this situation again, but if I am, I know who to turn to for help.

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

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  • Optima Tax Relief, so worth it!

    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Jan 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had an amazing experience with Optima Tax Relief. They were responsive, informative, and helped me navigate a very daunting tax issue. We hired Optima to help us with some old tax debt my husband had from many years ago. They were so helpful and most importantly, explained the entire process to us as we went through it. We were happy with the outcome of our resolution. I would never have been able to deal with the tax issue on my own, and if I had to do it over again, I would hire Optima Tax Relief. Highly recommended.

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

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Saved our life!

    • Orlando, FL,
    • Dec 30, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    The Case Managers at Optima Tax Relief are patient, polite, and professional. My case was handled with my best interest in mind. Optima Tax Relief saved my family a lot of heartache.

    We can now live without fear and with financial stability.

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

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    • Jan 3, 2018

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      We are happy to hear that the pressure of tax debt has been lifted off your shoulders. Thank you for allowing us to work on your case to obtain a positive resolution for you and your family. We wish you and your family the very best!

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Did not do anything but take my $500

    • North Carolina,
    • Dec 30, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    They charged me $500 to make me wait 2-3 weeks to let me know they wanted four thousand more and when I canceled, they will not give me my $500 back, or at least some of my money. I want some of my money back or else I am going to the Better Business Bureau.

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

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    • Jan 2, 2018

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      Hello Mr. Jones,

      We strive to make sure that every client experience is always a good one, and anytime we receive feedback we strive to learn from the situation for our own improvement but more importantly, we are dedicated to helping to resolve it. We have already reviewed your case and forwarded it directly to one of our Quality Assurance Specialists who will be working with you to resolve your concerns.

      We would sincerely appreciate the opportunity to speak with you again to further discuss your case, as we’re positive we will be able to help resolve your concerns. Our QA Specialist will be reaching out to you shortly but if you would prefer to speak with us at your convenience, we welcome you to call (800) 965-3192 whenever you are ready. We are looking forward to speaking with you soon.

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Optima Tax Relief helped me!

    • Chicago, IL,
    • Dec 28, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had a great experience with Optima Tax Relief. They helped me resolve my issues with the IRS. The staff was polite, courteous and very professional. All issues were taken care of in a timely manner.

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

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    • Jan 3, 2018

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      We are glad to see that we helped resolve your tax issues and obtained a positive resolution for you. Our staff is pleased to hear about your satisfaction with our services. We wish you the very best!

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Thank you!

    • Rancho Cucamonga, CA,
    • Dec 14, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I found myself in need of a professional to assist me with my tax issue. Not knowing where to turn, I remembered the commercials I heard for Optima Tax. From the first call I made to the final resolution, they handled my case with the utmost respect, integrity, and most of all professionalism. I was explained every aspect of the process in detail and made to feel like a weight was lifted from my shoulders. I would recommend Optima to anyone looking for a firm to assist them with their tax needs. Thank you Optima, your services are greatly appreciated!

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

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    • Dec 18, 2017

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      Thank you for your positive rating! We wish you the very best.

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  • Trustworthy

    Optima Tax Relief was there when I needed them. They took care of all the paperwork and contacting the IRS on my behalf. Although my Offer In Compromise was not as low as I would have liked it, it was very fair. I will be saving some money in the long run. They did manage to stop any wage garnishment and other actions.

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

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    • Dec 18, 2017

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      Thank you for sharing your positive experience with us. We work hard to obtain the very best resolution for all our valued clients such as yourself. Have a great day!

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Awesome job

    After years of dealing with the IRS and struggling to pay them off with no resolution, in a state of desperation I called Optima Tax Relief. The staff was informative and I made the leap and agreed to let them assist me, the payment to them was made, and they went to work.

    Each time I encountered someone from Optima they were so helpful, documents were sent in a timely manner, with an explanation of what I was signing, and they never made promises that did not happen.

    It did take about 20 months to get to a resolution with the IRS, but it was the IRS that was holding up the process, not Optima Tax Relief.

    Optima Tax Relief was able to get the IRS to write off the total amount I owed, which was $83,000.00, they did an awesome job, and I am just overjoyed with the result of my making the decision to work with Optima Tax Relief.

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

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    • Jan 4, 2018

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      We appreciate the time you took to share your positive experience with our services. We are glad that your tax issues were resolved to your satisfaction in the end. We wish you the very best!

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  • A truly great experience.

    We were truly concerned about our audit with the IRS, but from our first call until the end, it was a pleasure to work with a great team of people whose only concern was to get the best deal for us. They are all true professionals.

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

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    • Nov 27, 2017

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      We appreciate the time you took to give us a positive rating! We are happy to hear about your satisfaction with our services. We wish you the very best.

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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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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    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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Showing 1-11 of 48

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