Content of the material
- WHAT IS TAX RELIEF AND HOW DO I QUALIFY?
- Optima Tax Relief Cost
- How Much Could You Save with Optima Tax Relief?
- How much does Optima cost?
- How Much Does Optima Tax Relief Cost?
- How Much Could I Save with Optima Tax Relief?
- Is Optima Tax Relief Worth It?
- Who Optima Tax Relief Is Best For
- Who Optima Tax Relief Is Not For
- Frequently asked questions
- HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE OPTIMA TAX RELIEF TO GET INVOLVED?
- Optima Tax Reliefs Other Services
- Tax Consultation
- Tax Negotiation
- Tax Preparation
- Tax Resolution
- First Impressions
- 2. Installment Agreements
- Message From Our Editor
- What We Love About Optima Tax Relief
- What Could Optima Tax Relief Do Better?
- The Verdict
- Other Tax Relief Companies We Considered
- Precision Tax Relief
- Victory Tax Lawyers
- Do Those Tax Relief Companies Really Work?
- What is the minimum tax debt Optima Tax Relief will consider?
- Avoid Set Up or Consultation Fees
- How We Chose the Tax Relief Companies
WHAT IS TAX RELIEF AND HOW DO I QUALIFY?
Tax relief is a program that the IRS put into practice years ago to allow taxpayers to potentially settle tax debts for a percentage of what is owed. Tax Relief is available on different levels depending on your specific tax situation. While the IRS does not openly promote these programs, Optima Tax Relief specializes in finding the best possible solution for those who qualify.
Falling behind on tax payments to the IRS is something that millions of Americans have dealt with at one time or another. Owing money to the IRS can be very intimidating, but don’t worry and definitely don’t lose hope – tax debt relief services are available.
Optima Tax Relief Cost
Optima does not disclose its fees (at least not in any apparent place on the website), but my research showed the following:
As mentioned above, you pay an upfront fee of $495 to have Optima review your case and determine the best tax relief option.
The company advertises this as the Investigation Phase.
Based on information I found, the resolution fee can vary.
This is not different from any other tax relief firm; complex cases involving an offer in compromise will typically be more expensive while simpler cases such as the removal of a tax lien will be cheaper.
That said, a lot of client reviews complained about Optima’s lack of pricing transparency — a common complaint lodged against the tax relief industry.
For example, a former client claimed, “We were first told the fee would be up to $4,000, but it ended up being $7,000,” with the end result being “a payment plan, something I could have done on my own a year ago and saved time.”
Fees can change if a case turns out to be more complicated, but the review, if true, suggests that Optima not only failed to communicate the reason for the fee increase, but also overcharged the client for an outcome that is not difficult to obtain from the IRS.
How Much Could You Save with Optima Tax Relief?
The amount of money you can save depends on your specific tax situation.
On its website, Optima has highlighted some cases where it was able to substantially reduce their clients’ tax debts with the IRS and/or state tax agency.
Nevertheless, in some cases, Optima is only able to negotiate a payment plan for you with the IRS (and/or state tax agency).
In fact, one disturbing theme among the negative reviews is that Optima was only able to secure an installment plan even after, according to the client, appearing to promise tax reduction or elimination.
At the very least, this shows that the company is not very upfront that a payment plan may be the best (and only) option.
In the worst-case scenario, the lack of communication cited by client reviews after the company receives the fee shows that the company promised tax reduction without actually performing the necessary due diligence to determine whether the client qualified for such relief.
Related: Ultimate Guide to Filing Back Taxes
How much does Optima cost?
Optima does not specify costs for most of its services. However, the minimum cost of getting help from Optima Tax Relief is $295 if you move past the consultation stage. This price is in line with the competition.
In general, people with straightforward tax situations, and small amounts of debt will pay less than those with large amounts of debt or more complex situations will pay more.
If you sign up for Tax Protection services, you’ll pay $29.99, $49.99, or $69.99 per month.
How Much Does Optima Tax Relief Cost?
The cost range for the tax relief portion of Optima’s services is going to run between $2,000 and $5,000 depending on your specific needs.
The initial fee for the investigation phase will be $295.00. You’ll have to pay this in full before Optima will take your case. You can have this fee refunded during a 15-day window.
During this phase, Optima will determine what steps need to be taken to get you the best deal. When the investigation is complete Optima will give you a final quote based on the amount of work required.
Once the quote is paid in full, they will take on your case.
Resolution fees will range from $750 to $5,000, depending on the complexity and requirements of your case. The average case will cost around $3,000.
Get in touch with Optima Tax Relief for your 100% FREE consultation today! Get Tax Help
👉 Read our article on the Cost of Optima Tax Relief for a more detailed breakdown of fees and cost analysis.
How Much Could I Save with Optima Tax Relief?
There’s no consistent or assured amount that you can save. In some cases, the resolution may simply be an affordable installment plan. Your savings will depend on your specific situation.
👉 Optima has helped some customers save tens of thousands of dollars or sometimes even receive a refund.
Your situation will be unique and you should try to get the best possible results for yourself; not the results that someone else received.
Is Optima Tax Relief Worth It?
In my opinion, Optima Tax Relief is not worth the time and money.
Although the company has some good reviews, a substantial number of reviews focused on the lack of communication and pricing transparency during the process.
Who Optima Tax Relief Is Best For
Optima’s services are best for clients with relatively simple tax debt situations who do not require much hand-holding with respect to their tax issues.
Who Optima Tax Relief Is Not For
Optima’s services are not for clients with complex and large tax debts who value frequent communication, transparency, and updates on the status of their case.
Frequently asked questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Optima Tax Relief.
Whether working with Optima Tax Relief is worth it depends on your situation. The company does its best to save you money by helping you avoid penalties and settle your debt, but the fees you pay may offset the savings.
Optima says that most of its clients can complete the process in 4 to 10 months. Consultation and investigation typically take 2 to 4 weeks, and following the resolution plan usually takes 3 to 9 months.
Optima Tax Relief has a minimum tax debt requirement of $10,000 .
Optima Tax Relief can help customers with federal tax debt owed to the IRS and tax debt owed to their state governments.
You do not need to work with a tax relief company like Optima to resolve tax debt issues. You can work with the IRS on your own to set up payment plans or settle your debt for less than you owe. Optima’s benefits include not having to deal with the IRS directly, and that Optima has experience with these types of situations.
Optima Tax Relief offers a 15-day money-back satisfaction guarantee. However, this guarantee only applies to the fees paid toward the investigation phase.
Working with Optima Tax Relief will not hurt your credit. Late payment of taxes and setting up tax payment plans do not impact your credit. Even tax liens are no longer included in credit reports, so they can’t hurt your credit score. However, some lenders check public records reports where liens do appear. So, just because tax liens and payments are not on credit reports doesn’t mean it can’t hurt your chances of qualifying for a loan.
The company is licensed and insured.
They are a member of the American Fair Credit Council.
The team of tax professionals is knowledgeable and helpful.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE OPTIMA TAX RELIEF TO GET INVOLVED?
Optima Tax Relief will get involved the moment you become a client. In most cases, our clients wait until the last moment or have exhausted all other resources. Whether that is a wage garnishment, bank levy, aggressive phone calls, letters, etc. we begin providing assistance on your behalf and work on resolving the specifics of your case as soon as you sign up with Optima Tax Relief.
Optima Tax Reliefs Other Services
Optima Tax Relief doesn’t just handle tax relief. They provide a range of other tax-related services.
This service is offered to customers facing an IRS or state collection action.
This consultation is more than just 1 simple phone call and gives you access to a team of consultants, attorneys, enrolled agents, and CPAs.
👉 A tax consultation can provide you with the guidance and representation you need to get through a collection action with as little damage as possible.
The team at Optima is known for its skills in negotiating with the IRS. They have licensed professionals that specialize in helping you resolve your tax dilemmas.
Depending on your financial situation and how much you owe, you might be able to set up a payment plan or even debt reduction.
Optima Tax has a team of tax preparers, CPAs, and attorneys ready to assist with your tax preparation needs.
Optima Tax Relief provides experience-based tax resolution advice. They will offer guidance and representation needed to get through the IRS resolution process.
These are some of the tax resolution problems and solutions that Optima can help you address:
- Audit Representation
- Criminal Tax Defense
- Currently Not Collectible
- Dealing with the IRS
- Innocent Spouse Relief
- Installment Plans
- IRS Tax Discharge
- IRS Tax Expiration
- Levy Release
- Offer In Compromise
- Payroll Tax Debt Relief
- Penalty Abatement
- State Tax Issues
- Stop Wage Garnishment
- Tax Lien Removal
- Tax Preparation and Planning
- IRS Tax Expiration
- Unfiled Tax Returns
If you have any questions about the IRS collection process or would like more information about how Optima can help with your IRS tax problems, get a consultation today.
They assisted me in resolving concerns with my taxes and provided me a monthly plan to keep me in compliance. Because I am not the best person when it comes to taxes, your help is greatly appreciated.
If I hadn’t enlisted the help of Optima Tax, I would have owed a significant amount of money. I appreciate it. Plus, they’re quite good at staying in touch, which can be a little too much with my schedule at times, but the issues are handled and I’m happy.
The company’s website is user-friendly and has a lot of information about the company and their services. The website also has a blog with articles about taxes and tax relief.
Overall, Optima Tax Relief is a trustworthy firm that can assist you in resolving your tax issues.
2. Installment Agreements
The IRS automatically approves an Installment Agreement if your IRS debt is less than $10,000.
You must meet the following criteria:
- Have no late payments or late tax filing in the last five years. This excludes filing extensions.
- You have filed all your tax returns.
- You agree to file and pay all future taxes on time.
- You agree to let the IRS keep your refunds in future years.
To calculate your monthly payments, add the total taxes due plus penalties and interest, then divide the total by 36. If desired, you can make overpayments to bring down the debt faster.
If you owe less than $50,000, you may also file for a Streamlined Installment Agreement. With this monthly payment plan, you can repay your debt in up to 72 monthly payments. The IRS will not require you to submit detailed financial information and records (like bank statements).
If you owe less than $100,000, you may qualify for a streamlined installment agreement that can be repaid in up to 84 monthly payments.
Outside of the “Streamlined” installment agreement, you may still qualify for a monthly payment plan. The IRS will review your income and expenses and determine what the disposable amount of income is at the end of the month. That disposable amount of monthly income becomes your Installment Agreement.
Message From Our Editor
What We Love About Optima Tax Relief Optima Tax Relief has tax attorneys on staff who are licensed by the IRS in all 50 states. Although other companies claim to have tax lawyers, they rarely list their names and credentials. And if they do, it is usually just one or two lawyers who rent out their name to provide a veneer of respectability. Optima Tax lists the names and resumes of 10 of their tax attorneys and eight of their enrolled agents so that you can check their credentials. OTR offers a 15-day money-back guarantee and flexible installment payments with no financing costs. They are accredited by the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) and the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP). The firm has a large team (+400) of tax professionals that can help with an audit, negotiate a tax settlement, help you prepare your taxes, and protect you from further tax problems once you’re tax debt-free. Its customer portal allows taxpayers to check their account status, upload documents, and communicate with a dedicated tax professional. What Could Optima Tax Relief Do Better? There are cheaper tax relief firms. Although OTR’s rates are competitive, there are companies with lower prices. The money-back-guarantee could be longer. Although Optima Tax is one of the few tax relief firms to offer a money-back guarantee, it would be nice if it gave taxpayers a longer period to claim it. After all, the investigation phase takes two to four weeks, and the money-back guarantee only applies to the first 15 calendar days. The Verdict The bottom line is that Optima Tax Relief has the resources and expertise to deal with the most complex tax problems. If you’re looking for a reliable and professional tax relief company, Optima Tax Relief is a sound choice. While it isn’t the cheapest firm you’ll find, its fees are competitive, particularly when you consider it has attorneys on staff with J.D. and LL.M. degrees in Taxation who have practiced law before the United States Tax Court and Supreme Court of California. Even if you’re on a tight budget and price is an important factor, don’t automatically conclude you can’t afford the representation of a high-end firm. You may be surprised at how affordable the fees are when you break them down into interest-free installment payments.
Other Tax Relief Companies We Considered
Below are some companies that we thought were worth looking into, but ultimately didn’t make into our list. Though they may not be the best for every situation, they still offer services that some individuals may find useful, depending on their circumstances.
Precision Tax ReliefPros
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- No-interest payment plans for all clients
- Free consultations
ConsNo audit representation
Precision Tax Relief primarily focuses on IRS tax debt relief, but can also handle state tax issues. It doesn’t offer audit representation for its clients.
Aside from tax debt relief, Precision offers assistance with securing wage garnishment and levy releases, which can provide a significant amount of financial relief, if granted by the IRS. Individual and business tax preparation services are also available to clients, to avoid tax debt issues in the first place.
Precision stands out for making it abundantly clear that any payment plans you agree to are always interest-free. Its 30-day money-back guarantee is also fairly generous, since many — but not all — tax debt issues can be resolved within the span of three to four weeks.
Fees and rates are not advertised upfront, but they are always provided during the free consultations.
- Minimum Debt Required: $10,000
- Certifications and Memberships: NAEA, ASTPS, AICPA
- BBB ratings: A+
Victory Tax LawyersPros
- Flat-rate pricing
- Free consultations
ConsNo money-back guarantee Minimum $20,000 tax debt required
Victory Tax Lawyers are tax lawyers who focus on tax controversy issues, such as preventing or resolving tax-related criminal charges, rather than general debt relief. However, Victory Tax does handle common IRS tax debt relief options such as compromise and installment agreements, but not innocent spouse relief.
Victory Tax offers assistance to both individuals and businesses, including services such as tax preparation, tax levy and lien defense and audit representation. Notably, they also assist with Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) filings, which must be filed if you have bank accounts in countries other than the U.S..
Furthermore, they only work with cases involving a minimum of $20,000 in tax debt, which is considerably higher than other companies on this list.
- Minimum Debt Required: $20,000
- Certifications and memberships: Association of American Tax Problem Solvers (ASTPS)
- BBB Rating: A+
Do Those Tax Relief Companies Really Work?
Tax relief companies have a bad reputation that comes from an industry littered with poor business practices and scams. Disreputable tax relief companies may lure customers in with false promises, continue upcharging them with more fees, and eventually leave them in worse debt than they began with.
On the other hand, good tax relief companies will be honest about whether or not you can benefit from their services, won’t make any promises about specific outcomes, and will charge up-front transparent fees. We’ve also found that the most reputable tax relief companies involve customers in the process through education and resources, hoping to set the customer up for long-term success to avoid recurring tax debt in the future.
The bottom line is that it’s important to realize that tax relief companies don’t do anything you couldn’t technically do on your own by working directly with the IRS. The idea is that, as experienced professionals, tax relief companies will pay for themselves by negotiating more effectively and generating a better outcome.
What is the minimum tax debt Optima Tax Relief will consider?
Optima Tax Relief will only consider customers with at least $10,000 in tax debt. Taxpayers with less than $10,000 in tax debt may benefit from a debt consolidation loan or credit counseling services.
Avoid Set Up or Consultation Fees
Tax resolution firms can first charge $400 to $600 to offer you an “initial consultation”. After this, billing varies based on a percentage of the debt, the time needed to prepare your documents or a flat fee.
- Time-based fees are based on an hourly rate for resources that work on your case.
- Debt-based fees are based on a percentage of your IRS debt.
- Flat rates are a set price you pay for your tax resolution assistance, regardless of how long it takes to complete your application.
How We Chose the Tax Relief Companies
For this analysis, we began by evaluating 23 tax relief companies and scoring them based on a number of criteria. We only evaluated companies that offered free consultations, had been in business for at least five years, and had no complaints filed with the FTC.
We then took a look at the types of services offered and evaluated the company’s customer service. We analyzed customer reviews using various websites, taking into consideration any relevant certifications or accreditations. Finally, we asked about the company’s pricing structure, minimum debt amounts, and any money-back guarantees.