Is Optima Tax Relief Right For You? (Updated 2020)

Anna Kuehl
Expert Contributor
Last Updated:
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When you need a back tax assistance company to help you manage outstanding debt or back taxes, you don’t want to make a huge mistake and choose a poorly reviewed firm or a complete scam. But it isn’t always easy to find a firm that you can trust. After all, how do you know whether a back tax assistance firm is dependable, and how do you decide which one to trust? Don’t worry, we’ll introduce you to a highly reviewed and honest back tax assistance company.

Optima Tax Relief is a reputable company that can help you with a wide range of back tax assistance services — and help you get legitimate results. From free consultations to tax settlements, Optima Tax Relief’s experts are at your service. Find out why you can trust Optima Tax Relief and learn how this back tax assistance firm can help you with your tax issues, no matter where you live.

Optima Tax Relief Reviews

At Solvable, we take trust seriously. That’s why we score the major companies offering tax resolution services. When we score back tax assistance firms, we take into account several factors, including ratings from experts in the tax field and feedback from real customers.


Is Optima Tax Relief Right For You? (Updated 2020)

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We’re proud to rate Optima Tax Relief 9.0 out of 10.


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That means Optima Tax Relief consistently receives great reviews from customers, and it’s respected by experts in the field.

Solvable customers give Optima Tax Relief four out of five stars. The firm offers a high level of customer satisfaction, thanks to its ability to settle customers’ back tax assitance for a fraction of what they owe and even eliminate back taxes altogether.

How Long Has Optima Tax Relief Been in Business?

Optima Tax Relief was founded in 2010. Although the firm has been in business for nearly a decade, its history began more than 10 years ago. Harry Langenberg and Jesse Stockwell, Optima Tax Relief’s founders, met as students at the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. Together, they realized that countless Americans were dealing with the huge burden of back taxes — and they wanted to help.

The firm was founded on a simple mission: to help customers get the best possible result based on their situation and put their back taxes behind them. Today, Optima Tax Relief continues to follow its original mission and offers a crystal-clear promise to its customers. The firm guarantees that it will refund any payments made under its client agreement within the first 15 days without charging penalties or requiring any obligations.

Optima Tax Relief’s Core Values

In the decade that it’s been in business, Optima Tax Relief has grown and expanded in many ways. However, the firm continues to stick to its core values. The firm defines the following values as foundation to its culture and dedication to customer service:

  • Calmness: Reflect carefully, and then respond confidently.
  • Change: Adapt to market trends and client demands rapidly.
  • Dependability: Be reliable and always offer credible advice.
  • Education: Learn and enhance knowledge at every opportunity.
  • Excellence: Deliver the best possible services to each client every time.
  • Goals: Make, achieve, and exceed objectives.
  • Leadership: Stand out as a leading firm in the back tax assistance industry.
  • Positivity: Build a sense of respect and optimism.
  • Responsibility: Be accountable for every action.
  • Trust: Embrace transparency and communicate clearly.

Optima Tax Relief’s Client Bill of Rights

To protect its customers, the firm upholds a client bill of rights. Some of the most important points include:

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  • Clients can access services that meet the industry’s highest standards.
  • Clients can expect honesty, transparency, and clear communication.
  • Clients can receive responses to their questions within 24 hours.
  • Clients will be treated as individual people instead of anonymous numbers.
  • Clients can expect complete confidentiality.

Optima Tax Relief’s Team of Tax Professionals

To provide customers with the best service possible, Optima Tax Relief employs a large team of tax professionals. The firm’s staff handle a wide range of tax matters, from basic refund preparation to complex legal settlements. Optima’s team is comprised of:

  • Enrolled Agents (EAs): These tax professionals specialize in preparing and filing tax returns. EAs are qualified to represent taxpayers for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They either have experience working for the IRS, or they have passed an IRS exam that tests their ability to handle individual and business tax returns.
  • Certified Public Accountants (CPAs): These specialists serve as financial advisors to businesses and individuals, and they guide clients through a range of complex tax issues. CPAs have passed the CPA exam and hold state licenses.
  • Tax Attorneys: These professionals specialize in legal matters, including tax settlements and tax controversy. They have advanced education in tax matters and law, and they have Juris Doctor (JD) or Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation degrees. Tax attorneys have also passed a state bar exam, which allows them to practice law.

Does Optima Tax Relief Really Help?

With its strong values and stable team of EAs, CPAs, and tax attorneys, Optima Tax Relief can assist you with a wide range of tax concerns. Take a closer look at some of the firm’s focus areas.

Two-Phase Back Tax Assistance

Optima Tax Relief uses a two-phase process for virtually every case. Here’s how the process works:

  • Investigation: First, the firm investigates the details of your case and determines the best tax resolution option for your individual situation.
  • Resolution: Second, the firm resolves your case, which involves filing documents, building a case, and representing you before the IRS.

Free Tax Consultation

If you’re concerned about paying back taxes or facing IRS collection procedures, consider signing up for a free, no obligation tax consultation. Scheduling a consultation is the easiest way to begin the resolution process and find an answer for your individual situation. Optima Tax Relief offers free tax consultations so you don’t have to worry about making a big commitment without knowing what your options are.

When you sign up for a free tax consultation, you can expect Optima Tax Relief to provide expert advice and experienced guidance so you can understand potential solutions and learn how the team can help.

During your tax consultation, you can ask your Optima Tax Relief specialist about any pressing tax issue. From IRS questions to issues with state tax collection, you can ask about any tax matters that concern you. You can also expect to talk over some common tax matters including:

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  • Tax preparation assistance and filing past-due returns.
  • Personalized tax planning.
  • Removing tax liens and levies.
  • Introduction to the IRS Fresh Start Program.
  • Assisting with IRS installment payment plans.
  • Putting an end to wage garnishment.
  • Help with IRS offers in compromise.
  • Resolving asset seizure.
  • Representing you before the IRS.

You’ll typically start the consultation process by talking with a specialist. Once you move forward with your tax resolution, however, you’ll be working with Optima Tax Relief’s full team of tax professionals. Since Optima Tax Relief specializes in just one thing — resolving tax problems — you can feel confident that the firm has the knowledge and expertise it takes to address the issue you’re facing.

Altogether, the team has over 50 years of experience in the tax industry. That means you rest assured Optima Tax Relief can resolve virtually any tax-related issues effectively, no matter what your individual situation is.

Tax Settlement and Negotiation

If you owe back taxes to the IRS, Optima Tax Relief may be able to negotiate a tax settlement on your behalf. In some cases, you might be able to pay off your back taxes for less than the original amount you owed. That can lead to substantial savings, especially if you have a large outstanding back taxes.

For example, if you are struggling with your back taxes or if you can’t pay them off in your current circumstances, you may qualify for a settlement. While tax settlements aren’t available for every taxpayer, Optima Tax Relief’s tax experts can help you explore this option and find out if it will work for you.

If you’re eligible, the tax experts at Optima Tax Relief can walk you through the best option for you. The most common settlement methods include:

  • Offer in Compromise: If there is no way for you to pay off your back taxes, you could qualify for an offer in compromise that eliminates your back taxes while you pay a fraction of the amount you owe. To proceed with this option, you’ll need to write an acknowledgment that you can’t pay your debt and a proposal for the maximum amount you can afford to pay. Writing an offer in compromise on your own isn’t easy, but Optima Tax Relief can help you create a compelling offer that’s more likely for the IRS to accept. The IRS accepted more than 24,000 offers in compromise in 2019, totaling over $250 million!

    IRS Offer in Compromise Resolution Optima Tax
    Dollar Amount of Offers in Compromise Accepted by the IRS
  • Currently Not Collectible: If you can’t afford to pay your back taxes and the IRS doesn’t have a way to collect, you could be eligible for “currently not collectible” status. With this status, the IRS can’t garnish your wages, seize your assets, or use other standard methods to collect what you owe. The experts at Optima Tax Relief can discuss the benefits and drawbacks of this status and file on your behalf.
  • Installment Plan: When you can’t afford to pay all of your back taxes at once, you may qualify for an installment plan. With this type of plan, you can pay your back taxes over time in amounts you can afford. If this option makes sense for you, Optima Tax Relief can tell you about the pros and cons, walk you through a reasonable installment plan schedule, and assist you with the official IRS request.
  • Penalty Abatement: If you owe substantial back taxes or if you haven’t paid your taxes on time, you may have accumulated substantial penalties. In fact, the penalties might make up the majority of your back taxes. Penalty abatement is a solution where you could have your tax penalties removed or even refunded – but you have to meet certain criteria. Optima Tax Relief can help you build a case for penalty abatement. For example, if you mailed your tax return on time but added the wrong address or postage or if a natural disaster destroyed your tax records, you may be eligible.

Tax Resolution and Liability Investigation

When you have back taxes, there are dozens of different strategies to resolve your case while saving you money. The tax experts at Optima Tax Relief are experienced with all of them and could help you find the best option for your situation. Each one is designed to help you save while lowering or eliminating your back taxes. Some options that Optima Tax Relief offers include:

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  • Tax Lien Withdrawal: To collect back taxes, the IRS can place a claim on your property, known as a tax lien. Optima Tax Relief specialists can help you remove the lien and reclaim your property by appealing the lien or having it withdrawn.
  • Tax Levy Release: If you have substantial back taxes, the IRS may attempt to place a levy, or seize your assets, to cover the costs. If you receive a tax levy notice from the IRS, you usually have just 30 days to avoid asset seizure. Optima Tax Relief specialists can discuss your options for avoiding or releasing a levy, such as an installment agreement or an offer in compromise.
  • Wage Garnishment: The IRS can also attempt to collect back taxes by seizing part of your paycheck, or garnishing your wages. If this happens, the tax experts at Optima Tax Relief can walk you through your options for tax resolution so you can regain your paycheck.
  • Criminal Tax Defense: If you’re being investigated for potential tax fraud, you won’t want to go through the process alone. Optima Tax Relief’s experienced tax attorneys can assist with building your defense and advising you about the tax resolution process while you avoid serious criminal charges.
  • Innocent Spouse Relief: In some cases, the back taxes assigned to you doesn’t actually belong to you. If your spouse or ex-spouse’s actions caused the back taxes or tax penalties and you had no awareness of the matter, you may be able to eliminate your back taxes. Optima Tax Relief can help you claim innocent spouse back tax help.
  • Payroll Back Tax Assistance: If you’re a current or former business owner who owes employee withholding tax, the IRS could seize your corporate assets or force your business to close. The specialists at Optima Tax Relief can review your payroll back taxes and help you find an effective resolution quickly.
  • Tax Audit Representation: Audits can happen to anyone, but they aren’t always easy to handle on your own. If you learn that the IRS is auditing you, Optima Tax Relief can offer representation and defense for business and individual tax cases.
  • Tax Discharge: If you’ve filed for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you could be eligible to have your back taxes eliminated. Optima Tax Relief can explain the eligibility requirements for IRS tax discharge and can collect evidence for your tax elimination case.
  • Tax Expiration: In most cases, back taxes expires after a decade. That means the IRS only has 10 years to collect back taxes. If you pursue some tax resolution options, however, the statutory limit for IRS back taxes may be extended. The tax experts at Optima Tax Relief can explain how the IRS statutory limit works and whether you qualify for tax expiration.

Tax Preparation and Compliance

It isn’t always easy to prepare tax returns yourself, especially since tax laws get more complicated every year. If you have unfiled returns or if you owe back taxes, completing returns can be even more difficult.

That’s why Optima Tax Relief offers tax preparation and compliance services. When you hire this firm, you can rest assured that you’ll be working with EAs who are qualified to represent you before the IRS and CPAs with years of experience with tax compliance.

If you need a hand with tax preparation and compliance, Optima Tax Relief can help in a few ways:

  • E-Filing and Paper Tax Returns: The firm’s experienced EAs and CPAs can file current and past-due tax returns electronically or via mail. You can receive a paper or digital copy for your files.
  • Filing Dates: Your EA or CPA can confirm the due dates for all of your tax documents, whether you are filing amendments, annual returns, or quarterly returns.
  • Compliance: No matter which type of filing you choose, you can trust that your EA or CPA will ensure that your tax return complies with all federal, state, and local laws. You can also expect to pay as little as possible in taxes or receive the largest possible return given your individual situation.

How Much Does Optima Tax Relief Cost?

When you hire Optima Tax Relief to resolve your tax issues, the fees you pay depend on a few factors. The type of service, the length of time, and the payment option you choose all impact what you pay. The firm prides itself on offering payment terms that put customers first.

  • Money-Back Guarantee: One of the biggest benefits of working with Optima Tax Relief is the firm’s money-back guarantee. If you decide that you aren’t satisfied with the firm within the first 15 days of contacting them for help, you can get back the money you paid toward the investigation phase of your case. This guarantee doesn’t apply to clients working with the firm’s Immediate Action Team or customers who have signed a Resolution Phase Addendum.
  • Flexible Payments: Optima Tax Relief understands that back taxes and back taxes can seriously burden people from all walks of life. That’s why the firm allows customers to opt for flexible payments. When you choose this option, you can work with the firm to pay the fees you owe in installments rather than in a lump sum.
  • Retainers: The firm offers retainer fee agreements for each phase of its services. For example, you pay a fixed amount for an investigation into your tax matters and another fixed amount for the resolution. The retainer fee typically depends on the type of tax issues and the amount of back taxes you have.

How Long Does Optima Tax Relief Take?

Optima Tax Relief starts working on your case as soon as you contact the firm for assistance with back taxes, back taxes, or other tax matters. Each case has a different timeline since every issue has its own set of challenges to overcome and processes to follow.

However, Optima Tax Relief can resolve cases in an average of two to six months. No matter how long your case takes to complete, you can rest assured that Optima Tax Relief strives to achieve the best resolution for your situation as rapidly as possible.

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Here are some timelines for common tax issues:

  • Tax Consultation: Because this is an exploratory conversation, the firm can complete tax consultations relatively quickly. You can expect to schedule and complete your consultation in less than two months.
  • Tax Preparation and Compliance: If you have more than one outstanding tax return to file or if you have multiple compliance issues to research, the firm may need several months to resolve your tax preparation and compliance issues. This service usually takes two to six months to complete.
  • Tax Settlement and Negotiation: The complexity of your case determines how much time the firm needs to resolve it. Whether you are seeking an offer in compromise, an installment agreement, or another resolution, it could take two to six months or longer.
  • Tax Resolution and Liability Investigation: Since these cases tend to be the most complex, they typically take the longest to resolve. Investigating liability and providing criminal tax defense may take six months or longer.

Is Optima Tax Relief Legit?

When you want additional proof that a company is legitimate, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a reliable place to look. For over 100 years, the BBB has monitored businesses, helped companies develop trustworthy practices, and guided customers through choosing the best company for their needs.

The BBB holds businesses to the highest possible standards by encouraging companies to be honest when they advertise and sell. As a nonprofit organization, the BBB welcomes customer reviews and doesn’t allow businesses to pay for good ratings.

To rate businesses, the BBB has three methods: BBB ratings, customer reviews, and BBB Accreditation. Find out how Optima Tax Relief rates below.

Optima Tax Relief BBB Rating: A+

The BBB rates businesses based on how honest and trustworthy they are when interacting with customers. To rate businesses, the company looks at a variety of factors, which don’t include customer reviews.

First, the BBB reviews the customer complaints it has received and compares that number against the size of the company and the resolutions the company has provided. Then the BBB considers how long the company has been in business and the type of services it offers. Finally, the BBB studies the company’s business practices and evaluates how transparent they are.

The BBB applies positive or negative points to each benefit or drawback. Then the organization calculates the total number of points and assigns a letter rating.

Optima Tax Relief has an A+ rating from the BBB, which is the highest possible rating a business can achieve. This excellent rating indicates that the BBB considers Optima Tax Relief to be a very reliable and trustworthy business.

Optima Tax Relief BBB Customer Reviews: 4.5 Stars

The BBB also welcomes customer reviews. The organization invites customers to rate their experience with Optima Tax Relief on a scale of zero to five stars. Customers can also write a review detailing their experience or the service they purchased.

In total, the BBB has collected more than 1,100 reviews from Optima Tax Relief customers. Overall, Optima Tax Relief has a customer rating of 4.5 out of five stars. This high customer rating shows that the firm excels at satisfying customers and finding positive resolutions for back tax issues.

Optima Tax Relief BBB Accreditation Since 2012

In addition, the BBB only accredits businesses that meet its strict standards. The BBB offers accreditation to companies who have all necessary licenses, follow all applicable advertising laws, represent their services honestly, honor all agreements, protect customer privacy, and respond to disputes and problems quickly and professionally.

Optima Tax Relief has been accredited by the BBB since June 2012. That means Optima Tax Relief has met the BBB’s strict requirements for almost a decade.

With its excellent BBB rating and independent reviews and its wide range of back tax assistance services, Optima Tax Relief can provide reliable assistance no matter what tax issues you’re struggling with. Ready to resolve your outstanding back taxes or settle your back taxes? Answer a few simple questions and get started with Optima Tax Relief today.

Anna Kuehl
Expert Contributor
Last Updated: