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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209 Consumer Reviews for Optima Tax Relief

Average Consumer Rating: 4.3
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 155 4 star: 19 3 star: 1 2 star: 1 1 star:  33
Bottom Line: 83% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 209
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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
  • Best decision ever

    • Elizabethtown, PA,
    • Mar 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    What an amazing company and team to work for you. I was so scared because the IRS was threatening to garnish my wages. On my way home from work one day, I heard their ad on the radio, and called them right away. After discussing the financial arrangements that we made, they got on top of everything right away and I didn’t have to deal with the IRS any longer. I am so happy with my results and it was so worth it.

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

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  • Optima Tax Relief, an outstanding tax relief firm.

    • Reno, NV,
    • Mar 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I believe that Optima Tax Relief did outstanding work on my behalf before the IRS. My issues dated back more than 18 years. After trying to resolve the matter myself and facing horrific frustration, I finally called Optima Tax Relief. The process of resolving the matter was simplified by Optima Tax Reliefs' support and dedication. The trained professionals that I interacted with, by e-mail, fax, and phone explained the entire process to me and continually updated me on the progress of my case. The entire process required little effort from me as Optima did almost all the work.

    The outcome, my over ($27,000.00), Twenty Seven Thousand Dollar tax obligation was settled for less than 10 cents on the dollar. Optima then negotiated an affordable monthly payment plan that fit into my limited budget. I couldn't be happier than with the results I obtained through Optima Tax Relief and its' professional, outstanding staff. I would give them more than 5 stars if it were possible.

    Thank you Optima.

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

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  • I was drowning in my debt with IRS and Optima Tax Relief was my anchor of help!

    • Wilmington, DE,
    • Mar 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Optima Tax Relief did a fantastic job on helping me with my taxes. I came to them in debt of $53,000 and over the course of three years they eliminated all my debt to IRS.

    I was stressed out and very anxious in the beginning but the staff was always patient and kind, their work ethics were more than up to par remaining consistent and professional, explaining everything in detail along with follow-up phone calls to make sure I was comfortable and understood what was expected of me.

    In the end, I learned a few things for myself in managing my taxes and how to deal with sudden crises without falling apart.

    I'm very grateful for all Optima Tax Relief has done for me, and I would most definitely recommend them to my friends and family as I have already done.

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

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  • Optima Tax Relief is the BEST!

    • New Jersey,
    • Mar 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was trying to get approved for a mortgage when I found out that I needed to provide the broker with my last 2 years of tax returns. I hadn't filed any taxes in over 7 years, so I went down to the IRS and asked for my last 2 years of W-2's. The clerk informed me that 4 years earlier the IRS had filed on my behalf and that I had an outstanding tax debt of $6000 and that it was about to go into collections as the IRS had been sending notices to an old address. I was about to have my wages garnished! After calling Optima Tax Relief, they were able to get all collections and garnishment actions stopped. They also filed all of my outstanding tax years for me and after filing the outstanding tax years my tax debt increased to over $43,000. Optima Tax filed for an economic hardship on my behalf and was able to get my Tax Debt settled for only $970. They have the best Tax Team in the Country!

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

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  • My experience

    • Virginia,
    • Mar 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    When I first called Optima Tax Relief (OTR), I was very nervous because I didn’t know what to expect or if OTR could help me at all. I must say after speaking to an OTR representative, he put me at ease. After speaking to the representative, I decided to let OTR help me with my delinquent IRS taxes. The OTR rep explained the entire process to me and I decided to let them help me. OTR help me set up a payment plan that was easy to keep with the budget I had.

    While going through the process, I went through several stages and there was a Customer Rep that helped me as I went through the process. Within a year I settled with IRS. It is a great feeling not to have those delinquent taxes stressing me out. The process works. After I settled with the IRS, I was able to purchase my first home. Thank you Optima Tax Relief. I have referred family and friends to Optima Tax Relief.

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

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  • Optima Tax Relief is amazing!

    • Euless, TX,
    • Mar 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Optima Tax Relief did exactly what its name is...relieved me of my $11,972.00 tax debt! Before calling Optima Tax Relief, I was very stressed and worried about how I was going to face my challenges with the IRS by myself. By me making one phone call to Optima Tax Relief, they turned my desperation into inspiration on dealing with my challenges with the IRS. Everyone I spoke to at Optima Tax Relief provided me with the BEST customer service ever! Everyone was patient, kind, and knowledgeable. I would recommend anybody who is dealing with a tax debt and needs a consultation to contact Optima Tax Relief immediately. You will not be disappointed!

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

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  • Exceptional

    • Long Island City, NY,
    • Mar 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Optima Tax Relief is a great company and I would definitely recommend them to everybody I know. I worked closely with them in resolving my tax-related issues and I was very pleased with the outcome. Now I'm headache and worry free again, thanks to Optima Tax Relief and the entire staff, call them today and get rid of the stress of tax-related issues hanging over your head and begin to live again. Thank you Optima.

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

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  • I am extremely happy and satisfied with the outcome of the work Optima Tax Relief did for me!

    • Rialto, CA,
    • Mar 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    One afternoon I heard an advertisement on the radio for assistance with IRS tax bills from Optima Tax Relief. I was at my wits end over the amount I owed the IRS and not being able to pay, so I called them. From the very beginning, the person I spoke with at Optima Tax Relief was very professional and provided information which made me feel confident I had made the right choice in reaching out to them.

    I sent in the information they needed and waited only a short time to hear back from them. The amount they asked for their services was more than I thought it would be, but they were willing to take payments. In the middle of the process, I lost my job and was not able to give any payments. Optima Tax Relief was understanding and placed my file on hold. It took a long time for me to pay them, but they didn't cancel my account.

    I was finally able to finish paying them when I received my portion from the sale of my Mother's house after she passed away. Once I paid their service fee, they worked quickly to design an Offer In Compromise which the IRS would accept and I could afford. I felt such a big weight fall off my shoulders when I received the letter from the IRS accepting my Offer In Compromise! Turning to Optima Tax Relief was the best thing I could have done. I recommend this company to anyone who needs help settling their tax bill with the IRS.

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

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  • How much Optima has helped me

    • Texas,
    • Mar 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was facing a difficult tax problem, had me truly worried. I reached out to Optima Tax and they went to work and now I feel a sense of relief, things are working out. Thank you Optima.

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

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  • Very pleased with Optima as a legal service

    • Texas,
    • Mar 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been very pleased with Optima as a legal service, and the emotional relief they afforded me is incalculable. So far they have saved me approximately $28K over three tax years. And they continue to protect me.

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

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  • Outstanding service

    • Texas,
    • Mar 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This company went beyond my expectations, they kept in constant contact with me, explained thoroughly the process. I would highly recommend this company to anyone needing this service.

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

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