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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91 Consumer Reviews for Optima Tax Relief

Average Consumer Rating: 4.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 61 4 star: 10 3 star: 1 2 star: 0 1 star:  19
Bottom Line: 77% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 91
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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
  • Don't buy it

    • Ohio,
    • Aug 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I contracted Optima's services to get me out of a huge tax jam. After months and thousands of dollars, all I got were my tax returns and rude service. This company is all about marketing and using intimidating fear tactics to get you to sign up with them. There are reviews all over the internet about how bad this company is. I didn't bother to do the research that could've saved me a lot of time and money. Hopefully this review helps you avoid what I have experienced.

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

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    • Aug 16, 2018

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      Thank you for voicing your concerns, as well as the feedback you provided. We take everyone’s experience with our company very seriously, and we work hard to make it a happy and successful one. We are extremely proud of our staff and the amazing work that they do in helping thousands of people solve their IRS problems every month, and we want to take this as an opportunity to further enhance our client experience.

      Our success is made possible thanks to our dedicated staff, hundreds of the hardest working tax professionals you can find, who pour their hearts and minds into helping every one of our clients, every day. One of our dedicated Quality Assurance Specialists has already been made aware of your concerns and is ready and waiting to speak with you with additional steps we can take to further assist you with your case.

      Please feel free to give us a call at (800) 965-3192 at your earliest convenience. We are ready to help resolve any and all of your concerns, and we thank you for providing us with that opportunity by reaching out. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Optima

    • New Jersey,
    • Jul 24, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Every person I dealt with was very friendly, professional, and courteous. They kept me informed at every step that was taken in my case. They were so helpful in resolving my case. Anytime I had a question I got quick responses from them. I would recommend them to anyone who had a problem like I did.

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

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    • Aug 9, 2018

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      Hi Mr. Wei, thanks for sharing your feedback! It's great to hear that you liked our team as much as we do, they certainly are "friendly, professional, and courteous," and we think it's important to have total transparency and keep our clients informed! We wish you the best moving forward.

    • Aug 10, 2018

      Thomas B.

      This company obviously has top-notch marketing. Your initial call will help alleviate your stress over your tax debt. The initial price tag will be reasonable. But wait for it, you will be charged double the next time you hear from them with uncertain results to look forward to. The tactics they use in conversations are coercive as though you are being shaken down by a mafia protection racket, go with us or else. I do NOT recommend Optima Tax Relief.

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  • Shining light

    • Midland, TX,
    • Jul 22, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    During the worst three years of my life (motorcycle wreck, foreclosure, bankruptcy and death of my wife), I also had the IRS inform me that I owed the $17,648 in taxes with penalties and interest. I had no more left in me - money, drive, and the will to keep going forward. I decided to try Optima Tax Relief hoping there was a chance for something good to happen and it did. The people there are extremely professional and helpful.

    I just wrote a check for $50.00 that will satisfy what I owe. From over $17,000 to $50.00, now that is awesome. Thank you Rob and the rest of your team. My life has hope now. Thank you so very much.

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

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    • Aug 9, 2018

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      Mr. Wallum, it is a joy to hear from you. An accident such as a motorcycle wreck that you experienced can be a difficult experience, especially if it affects your finances. We are glad that our team and their "professionalism and helpfulness" was of service for you, and that we helped you to reach a settlement you are most happy with. We wish you the best moving forward!

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  • Awesome job Optima Tax Relief

    • Texas,
    • Jul 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was in serious trouble with the IRS. I owed about $124,000 to the IRS with back taxes and unfiled tax returns. Optima completed the investigation phase and shared with me the next step to begin the resolution stage. After it was all said and done, Optima saved me over $100,000. Thank you Optima Tax Relief. Job well done!

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

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    • Aug 9, 2018

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      Hi Mr. Holloway, we certainly appreciate your feedback. We are so glad we were able to help you reach a resolution you were pleased with. We enjoyed having you as a client, and we wish you well moving forward!

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  • Having to pay the IRS a lot of money in back taxes that I did't have the money to do so

    • Florida,
    • Jul 14, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I contacted Optima Tax because I was beside myself with the letter I received from the IRS stating that I owed A LOT of money in back taxes. I am on disability and do not have thousands of dollars the IRS said I owed from years back.

    I contacted Optima Tax and immediately they got the ball rolling. This was a long, drawn-out process but Optima Tax was with me all the way. They would tell me what they needed from me and I would compile. We talked on the phone all the time, they are very professional and nice and talk to you about tax stuff so you can understand it. Through it all, they were with me. When I was told how much I owed the IRS in back taxes, I almost fell on the floor, it was much much lower than I expected. Optima Tax is WONDERFUL. It's nice to know that there is at least one company you can trust.

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

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    • Aug 9, 2018

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      Hi Ms. Kehr, thank you for taking the time to write us a review. It can be shocking to receive a letter like that from the IRS, that's why we are happy to bring our clients to an excellent resolution! We are glad to hear that you thought "we were with you" throughout the process. We were happy to help you, and we wish you the best moving forward! Thank you for putting your faith in us!

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  • Choose Optima

    • California,
    • Jul 12, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I owed the IRS tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes and Optima Tax Relief was able to settle my debt for no more than $100! I highly recommend Optima Tax Relief to any person with tax problems, no matter how big or intimidating it might be.

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

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    • Jul 13, 2018

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      Hi, Mr. Bhattacharya, thanks for sharing your feedback with us! We appreciate you taking the time to share that we are your first choice for assistance with tax problems. It's amazing to hear that you're pleased with the resolution, as well! We wish you the best, and will miss you as a client!

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  • Optima Tax Relief

    • Long Island, NY,
    • Jul 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The people at Optima did a great job helping me resolve the issues I had with the IRS and set me up with a payment plan that fits my situation.

    I have nothing but a great review from Optima Tax Relief. I was impressed from the initial call to the final phase of the process. The Optima Tax representatives are very professional and prompt to answer any questions I had. Furthermore, the Optima Tax team kept me informed through the entire process. Optima Tax reduced my tax bill.

    The people at Optima did a great job helping me resolve the issues I had with the IRS and set me up with a payment plan that fits my situation. Their experience, knowledge, and know how provided me a great relief from the IRS. Thank You Optima Tax! I would highly recommend them.

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

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    • Jul 6, 2018

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      Hi Ms. Loweth, thanks for sharing your feedback! We certainly appreciated working with you, and we thank you for giving our hard-working team so much credit in being "professional and prompt." We are glad we found a resolution that you're more than pleased with! Wishing you all the best.

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  • Optima Tax saves the day!

    • Florida,
    • Jun 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was in hot water with the IRS, owing them 1/2 of what was currently making in a year. Optima came to my rescue. They filed four years of taxes for me and got me in a comfortable outcome of having to pay the IRS nothing back...no liens, no walk of shame. I can hold my head high.

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

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    • Jun 27, 2018

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      Hi Ms. Barreto, we are happy to hear that you've enjoyed your time with us! We are appreciative of great clients like yourself, and we wish you all the best.

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  • 100% satisfied

    • Henderson, NV,
    • Jun 22, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Prompt and professional service is what you get with the Optima Tax team. I had 100% confidence with their expertise in dealing with the IRS. Tax issues resolved.

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

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    • Jun 27, 2018

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      Hi Mr. P, thanks for taking the time to write us a stellar review! We are happy to have helped, and we thank you for the "100% confidence" in our expertise! We enjoyed working with you.

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  • Thank you Optima Tax Relief

    • Ohio,
    • Jun 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Optima Tax Relief helped us out tremendously after we lost our business in 2015. Within two months, we went from small business owners doing work for a nationwide trucking company as a vendor for over 10 years, to my husband working for the corporation that took over and kicked us to the curb. We had taxes due that we had no idea how to pay since my husband is now making 1/4 of what we were bringing in as business owners. Optima took the time and helped us when we had no idea what to do. They helped get a huge burden off of our shoulders. Everyone we ever dealt with was always nice and explained everything and very helpful. Thank you!

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

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    • Jun 27, 2018

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      Hi Ms. Ritchie, we are happy to have helped you through a difficult time. We're glad you found our team to be "nice and very helpful." We take our time with our clients, and we strive for a successful resolution. We wish you the best moving forward.

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  • Tax problems can be resolved

    • New Jersey,
    • Jun 13, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I know that dealing with tax problems is frightening and stressful, but I tried to handle them by myself. I decided to contact Optima because I was tired of worrying. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. My case was handled by an experienced team of professionals who took immediate action, got my case filed, and kept me updated every step of the way. But their "client care" was what meant so much to me. They reassured me, gave excellent advice and explained options, all with a personal touch. After that first call, a huge weight was lifted, and I felt confident again. Some issues should be left to the professionals and Optima are the professionals to call.

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

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    • Jun 28, 2018

      Satisfaction Team, Consumer Asssistance

      Hi Ms. Mauro, thank you for reaching out to share your feedback, we truly appreciate it. We appreciate your comment that our "main focus is the client." This is most certainly true! We were more than happy to "keep you up to date, provide guidance, explain what was happening (and why), bringing to your case to a most satisfactory conclusion." This is what we strive for, and we're thrilled to have done that for you. We wish you the best moving forward!

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