Optima Tax Relief Careers and Employment

Working Process

Optima Tax Relief offers clients a free consultation to assess their eligibility for tax relief. Qualified taxpayers undergo a two-phase process. First, Optima Tax Relief protects clients by investigating their tax records, establishing contact with the IRS, requesting a temporary stay on collection procedures; and preparing a list of available negotiation and settlement options. The initial stage can take two to four weeks to complete. Second, Optima Tax Relief ensures taxpayers are in compliance with tax laws and mediate the best settlement available. The resolution stage can take three to nine months to complete. These include offers in compromise, installment agreements, innocent spouse relief, penalty and interest abatement, bankruptcy, expiration, as well as levy and garnishment release.

The initial consultation is free. Once Optima Tax Relief determines a taxpayer may qualify for tax relief, it charges a $995 fee to start its investigation phase. This fee comes with a 15-day money-back guarantee. Once a resolution plan is prepared, Optima Tax Relief charges a second fee that ranges from $995 to $9,995 to finish the process. Cost varies depending on the size and complexity of the case.

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Pledges Certifications

  • Pay Equality Pledge Committed to paying equitably for equal work & experience

  • Tech Hiring Commitment Helping to train, hire and promote more technology workers

  • Career Advancement Program Helping employees "upskill" into higher-paying positions

  • Social Responsibility Pledge Formal programs or foundation to give back to communities

  • Diversity Commitment Has programs that support a diverse and inclusive workforce

  • Pledge to Thrive Taking steps to prioritize employee well-being

Does Optima Tax Relief have the staff to provide in-house services?

  • CPAs
  • Enrolled Agents
  • Tax Attorneys
  • Annual Filing Season Program Participants

Optima Tax Relief employs tax attorneys, enrolled agents, and CPAs.

How much does Optima Tax Relief charge for its tax relief services?

Fees vary depending on the size and complexity of each case. However, you can expect the cost of Optima Tax Relief services to start at $295. According to Optima Tax Relief, the average customer will pay $4,000 in fees.

Does Optima Tax Relief offer flexible payments?

Yes, Optima Tax Relief offers flexible payments so you don’t have to pay their fees as a lump sum. Optima Tax Relief offers a money back guarantee. You may be able to request a refund if you are unsatisfied with their services. Visit their site for more details on the terms and conditions of the money back guarantee. Optima Tax Relief does not charges a retainer fee for its services. This means you will not need to make an upfront payment for them to start working on your case.

Optima Tax Relief Pricing
Description Amount
Average Fee $4000
Flexible Payments? Yes
Money Back Guarantee? Yes
Retainer Fee? No
Range of Fees Starting at $295

If You Apply and Are Not Eligible

If you apply for an Offer in Compromise and we can’t process your offer, we’ll:

  • Return your application and offer application fee
  • Apply any offer payment you included to your balance due

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, a lot of client reviews showed that Optima failed to communicate in a timely fashion — or even respond to client inquiries at all.

Additionally, many former clients mentioned that prices were not transparent and indicated they were in a worse position after working with Optima.

Complete the form below for a free tax relief consultation with Choice Tax Relief, founded by tax relief expert and YouTuber Logan Allec, CPA

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

Call one of our Tax Specialists today for a free, no obligation consultation. We will determine whether we can represent you and work on guiding you to the best possible tax solution for your specific case. If you choose to become a client, we will start working immediately on your case to help resolve your tax issue the quickest and most effective way possible.

How Optima Tax Relief works

Optima Tax Relief uses a three-step process to help people resolve their tax problems.

The first step is a consultation. Optima Tax Relief offers free consultations where you can meet with one of the company’s tax professionals to discuss your situation. You describe your financial situation and the issues you’re facing with the IRS and decide whether working with Optima is a good idea.

The second step is the investigation. During this step, Optima’s professionals will reach out to the IRS on your behalf to get the IRS to stop contacting you. Optima will also examine all of the financial and documents that you provided to come up with the best plan for dealing with your tax debt.

Finally, Optima executes the plan that you’ve selected, working with the IRS to establish a payment plan or settle your debt.

If You Meet the Low Income Certification Guidelines

You don’t have to:

  • Send the application fee or the initial payment
  • Make monthly installments while we review your offer.

For details, see Form 656-B, Offer in Compromise BookletPDF.

How Much Does a Tax Relief Company Charge?

Tax relief companies set prices on a case-by-case basis that involves many factors, such as the total amount owed, type of solution required, and services included. Some tax relief companies charge a flat percentage of the amount owed to the IRS, such as 10%. Others charge based on an hourly rate, which can be anywhere from $275 up to $1,000. In any case, you should anticipate paying a few hundred dollars for an in-depth tax review and a bare minimum of $1,000 for tax settlement, which goes up significantly with higher debt amounts.

History

The founders of Optima Tax Relief first met over 12 years ago while at the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania.

• 2011- Optima Tax Relief was founded.

• 6/18/2012- Optima Tax Relief became an A+ BBB Accredited Business.

• 06/18/2012- Optima Tax Relief became [[Charter Member of Business Consumer Alliance. ]] • By 2016 Optima Tax Relief ranked the #1 Financial Services Company by Inc. Magazine.

Optima Complaints: Are They a Rip Off?

There are a lot of tax scams out there. That’s why it’s essential to read online reviews! But here’s the kicker: Make sure you’re getting reviews from a reputable site.

Some sites let anyone leave a review. That’s why the BBB is so powerful… They connect reviewers with the company to help them resolve any problems.

Here’s one example:

Aaron D gave Optima a one-star review on the BBB site:

Do not use this company! They are crooks. Soaked me for over 13k, over five years. I spent a week and got on a payment plan with the IRS myself! Optima was fired yesterday! They wanted another 5k out of me. No, I don’t think so. If you want me to remove this BBB review, then refund every dollar is spent, and I’ll consider it.

Aaron D

But Optima tried to help Aaron. Here’s their response:

Upon receiving your review, we’ve been diligently trying to locate you in our system, but your review didn’t provide enough identifiable information to locate you. We welcome you to call (800) 965-3192 to speak with one of our QA Specialists, whenever you are ready. We will be more than happy to speak with you directly about your concerns. We truly hope you provide us with an opportunity to turn your experience around, and we are looking forward to hearing from you.

Optima Tax Relief

Quick Tip: Once you start an installment plan, you will have a harder time qualifying for a debt reduction request later.  We recommend you speak to an expert to see if you qualify for tax relief first.

Is Optima Tax Relief Legit?

Optima does have a BBB rating of 4.56/5.00 and some favorable client reviews.

That said, a lot of the good reviews were short and vague and did not provide much detail into the positive aspects of Optima. Below are some examples of the typical favorable review:

There were also a number of negative reviews, whic

There were also a number of negative reviews, which tended to provide much more detail on the reviewers’ experience with Optima.

Specifically, clients in these reviews consistently pointed out Optima’s lack of transparency on pricing and its poor client service.

The following table lists some representative examples of the negative comments on the BBB website:

ReviewerIssueMy Take (Assuming Reviewer’s Claims Are True)
Quentin M. 12/08/2021Quentin claimed that Optima told him that it could reduce his taxes within a year, but the process ultimately took about 6 years. Quentin also claimed that once he paid the $4,700 fee, he failed to get call backs, was instructed repeatedly to provide documents he had already previously provided, and was frequently routed to representatives that had no knowledge of his case. Quentin claimed that when he did finally reach his case manager, she told him that she had over 500 clients and did not call the customers about the status of their cases.Assuming Quentin’s claims are true, the difference between the timeline he was promised and how long the case resolution actually took is troubling. As someone who has dealt with the IRS, I understand how drawn out the process can be, especially in light of the staff shortages and budget cuts the IRS has faced in recent years. Still, Optima should be aware of this and be realistic with the client. What I suspect is happening here is that the representative conveyed a shorter timeline as a way for Quentin to pay the resolution fee. Optima’s lack of communication after receiving the fee is also concerning. The company has advertised that a case manager will be assigned to your case and be with you every step of the way. However, based on Quentin’s review, he could never get a hold of anyone with knowledge of his case. His exchange with his case manager is particularly troubling, since it shows that she was overwhelmed and that no one was moving his case towards resolution. Given these circumstances, it is not difficult to imagine how Quentin’s case has dragged on for nearly six years.
Cara H. 11/30/2021Cara claimed that Optima told her the fee for her case would be $4,000, but it has ended up costing her around $7,000. She also claimed that, despite all the money she paid, Optima ultimately negotiated only a payment plan with the IRS, something she could have done herself a year ago. Perhaps more concerning is that the payment plan failed to cover all the tax years in question, putting her at risk of a levy for these years. Cara has also claimed that she received no call backs when she checked in on her case for two months, a common theme throughout other negative reviews.If Cara’s claims are true, the increased fees are concerning. It is not unreasonable for fees to increase if a case turns out to be more complicated, but it looks like Cara was blindsided by the jump in fees. At the very least, Optima needs to provide a rationale for why the fees increased by $3,000. Perhaps more importantly, assuming Cara’s claims are true, the company needs to explain why it charged $7,000 for negotiating a payment plan with the IRS, something Cara could have done herself.
Barnett M. 11/03/2021Barnett claimed that she paid Optima $6,000 and the company incorrectly told her that her tax debt was 3 times the amount she actually owed. She laments that the “[h]igh pressure sales pitch and extreme urgency convinced me to pay for the services.”Barnett’s experience, if true, is typical among clients that retain tax relief companies. Salespeople without the necessary credentials are under high pressure to sign up new clients and often exploit their clients’ fears of the IRS and anxiety surrounding their situation. As with other tax relief companies, it looks like Optima failed to actually deliver on the sales pitches after the company received the fee.
Robert T. 09/21/2021Robert claimed that he paid $10,000 to Optima, which he had to finance with the company over 14 months. Robert also claimed that Optima failed to work on his case until the $10,000 was fully paid, which resulted in a lien being placed on his house in the amount of the tax debt during that period of time. After the 14-month period, Robert claimed that the company only negotiated a payment plan with the IRS. When Robert tried to call Optima to ask why the company could not help him reduce his tax debt, he could not get ahold of anyone and his calls were never returned.Assuming Robert’s claims are true, there are a few concerning aspects in his review. First, even though Robert was financing his fee, he was still paying every month, which meant he should have been entitled to some level of service from Optima. Having a lien placed on your house is a terrifying ordeal and something that the company should have addressed immediately after taking the case. Robert also mentions that all the company did was set up a payment plan with the IRS on his behalf. Sometimes an installment plan is the best (and only) option. However, Optima should have disclosed this as a possibility upfront instead of waiting 14 months to tell him (conveniently after receiving the fee in full). This suggests that Optima failed to make a genuine effort at investigating and reviewing different options for resolving the debt with the IRS.

Guarantees and Disclaimers

Optima provides a 15-day money back guarantee. In evaluating the client reviews, I saw that clients generally had a difficult time receiving refunds when they requested their money back.

It is unclear, however, whether these clients had requested refunds within the allowable 15-day window, or asked for their money back after the 15-day period.

Practically speaking, since you are required to pay the investigation fee upfront and the company has 30 days to review your case, it is likely that you will only be able to receive the $495 investigation fee if you decide to get your money back within the 15-day period.

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.

HOW LONG DOES THE TAX RELIEF PROCESS TAKE?

Every Tax case has its specific challenge and procedures. In most tax relief cases; the process takes anywhere from 2 to 6 months to resolve. Once we determine how complex your tax issue is, we will be better able to determine your case timeline. Our goal at Optima Tax Relief is to achieve the best possible result regarding your specific tax situation in the quickest possible way.

Where to find alternatives to Optima Tax Relief

Optima Tax Relief is far from the only company dedicated to helping people solve tax issues with the IRS. If you have tax debt and want to compare your options, we have some useful resources that you can look at, including our picks for the best tax relief companies.

We also have reviews of some other popular tax relief companies, including:

Ready to receive a consultation with Optima Tax Relief? Check out its website.

View RatesFree Consultation Yes Costs Start at $295 Minimum Debt $10,000

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