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.

» For Further Reading: Tax Relief Companies: A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide

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139 Consumer Reviews for Optima Tax Relief

Average Consumer Rating: 4.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 95 4 star: 13 3 star: 1 2 star: 1 1 star:  29
Bottom Line: 78% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 139
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  • Editor’s Note: It is our understanding that this company has been asking its customers to leave feedback on HighYa. We assure you that each of these reviews has still been subjected to the same verification & vetting process that all submitted reviews go through. Learn More Here
  • Optima Tax Relief made a great change in my life

    • Chicago, IL,
    • Dec 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Optima Tax Relief made a great change in my life! Their professional tax team made me feel comfortable through the entire process. They were able to work with the IRS on my behalf and get a payment plan that is comfortable for me and my budget. Now that the tax season is near, I’m no longer fearful about it. Thank you Optima Tax Relief! If you’re having tax problems, please call Optima Tax Relief, they can change your life. You won’t regret it.

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

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  • Optima Tax Relief is fantastic to work with

    • Nampa, ID,
    • Dec 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been dealing with Optima Tax Relief for nearly a year. They have been very easy to deal with. They are always clear in communicating what they need from you. They are always there to answer questions that you may have. They have been able to make arrangements with paying the IRS our taxes more affordable than we thought they were going to be able to. And to top it all off, they have also offered us a package deal in which they will continue to cover and assist us with our needs in regards to the IRS, taxes, even identity theft.

    I would recommend Optima Tax Relief to anyone who may need assistance in dealing with tax situations and the IRS.

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

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  • SCAM!

    • Kentucky,
    • Dec 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I know that all the good reviews are written by their own people. This company is a scam. We have recordings of conversations in which they are lying to us. Please do not use Optima Tax!

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

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  • Great staff

    • California,
    • Dec 7, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The staff at Optima is outstanding, they took the time to explain everything that was going on with my tax issue.

    When I received papers from the IRS, I quickly called them and they were there to take my call.

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

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  • Optima Tax Relief.

    • Litchfield, IL,
    • Dec 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Optima Tax Relief was very easy to work with; they are courteous, professional and very polite. They gathered all the information needed and did all the paper work needed. They kept me informed during the process to the end. I highly recommend them.

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

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  • Optima Tax Relief

    • Pensacola, FL,
    • Dec 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had a certified letter from the IRS stating we owed approximately $14.5K. I saw an ad on TV about Optima Tax Relief and I contacted them. Optima went to work immediately on my situation. I first was qualified for a non-collectible status and they went to work on an offer to compromise. I was always able to contact my case managers and they always kept me informed.

    Optima Tax Relief got my taxes down from $14.5K to just $100. Optima Tax Relief is the real deal, they dotted every I and crossed every T. There is no way that I could have even attempted this. There are two people that were my case managers that I thank are top notched and they are Adriana Lopez and Paulina Scafidi.

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

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  • Helpful people at Optima Tax Relief

    • Fort Wayne, IN,
    • Dec 3, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Optima Tax Relief is excellent to work with. Every employee was super knowledgeable, professional, and kind. I felt like I was dealing with very intelligent and considerate people who never made me feel incompetent or stupid, but instead, explained every step of the way and answered every question I had with patience and understanding. I would recommend them to anyone having issues with the IRS.

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

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  • Thank you Optima Tax Relief

    • Maryland,
    • Nov 30, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Optima Tax Relief did a great job of helping us through a very difficult time of owing a large amount of taxes due to the IRS. They took time to explain their program with us and explain the steps that we needed to go through. They kept us in constant contact at each step. They were easy to communicate with and always returned calls in a timely manner. They were able to negotiate a much lower tax payment down to a very manageable amount. Thank you Optima Tax!

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

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  • Excellent service

    • Huntsville, AL,
    • Nov 29, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Excellent help. Staff was very friendly and nice. Every question was answered with knowledge of the issue. Everything was handled in a timely manner with resolution. Optima filed my 2018 tax return also and we were very pleased. I would recommend their services highly.

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

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  • Good company

    • Arkansas,
    • Nov 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Little pricey. Great communication. They stopped penalties and interest. I broke even with their fees VS penalties and interest. Much easier than dealing with the IRS myself. Lots of paperwork.

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

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  • Great

    • Oregon,
    • Nov 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    They kept us updated through all the steps and what information was needed, saved us thousands. Returned calls, text, and emails. They also offer help after our tax problems were solved.

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

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