Optima Tax Relief Review: Is It a Scam or Legit?

Optima Tax Relief Review: Is It a Scam or Legit? 1

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In the age of information where a simple search can provide insights into a company’s reputation, the tax relief industry remains shrouded in controversy and skepticism. Amid the chaos, companies like Optima Tax Relief and Tax Relief Advocates have emerged, claiming to provide solutions for those in dire financial straits. Yet, their mixed reviews on consumer trust platforms like BBB and Trustpilot have raised eyebrows, leaving potential clients wondering if these services are effective, or simply beautifully packaged sources of further financial distress.


The tax relief industry, much like the Wild West, still remains largely unregulated and affords ample room for manipulation and less-than-transparent practices. This makes it all the more critical for consumers to approach these services with a healthy dose of skepticism and caution. As we delve into this in-depth review of Optima Tax Relief, we will be armed with a discerning lens, ready to separate the wheat from the chaff.

So, is Optima Tax Relief a knight in shining armor ready to rescue you from your tax woes, or is it a wolf in sheep’s clothing waiting to pounce on the cash-strapped and desperate? Let’s find out.

Company Background

Optima Tax Relief

Optima Tax Relief, headquartered in Santa Ana, California, burst onto the scene in 2011 with the promise of assisting Americans in navigating the intricacies of tax relief. The company’s founders, Harry Langenberg and Jesse Stockwell, capitalized on their extensive backgrounds in finance and internet marketing. Their intent was to provide an innovative service that would stand apart in a competitive sector.

But since its inception, the journey of Optima Tax Relief has been far from smooth. Amidst its triumphant claims of having resolved over a billion dollars in tax debt, a trail of disgruntled customers and skeptical reviews have left a stain on the company’s reputation. Numerous critics and unhappy clients are quick to compare Optima’s practices to the infamous plot of the movie “The Big Short,” where greed and unethical practices led to widespread financial despair.

Optima Tax Relief Review: Is It a Scam or Legit? 2

Take the case of Robert, a retiree from Florida. He was in dire straights, facing a tax liability of over $20,000. Optima, with its promise of tax relief, seemed like a beacon of hope. But after months of back and forth with the IRS and a hefty bill from Optima, Robert’s tax debt remained largely unchanged. Cases like Robert’s are not isolated incidents. Several other testimonials echo similar experiences, painting a concerning picture of Optima’s practice.

A deeper dive into the company’s journey reveals a pattern of aggressive marketing and lofty promises, often resulting in inadequate services and unhappy clients. In 2017, Optima expanded its operations to Chandler, Arizona, aiming to serve a larger client base. Yet, even with a growing team of tax professionals and an A+ rating on Better Business Bureau (BBB), the company’s practices and effectiveness continue to be a topic of hot debate.

Despite being accredited by the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) and the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP), Optima Tax Relief continues to be shrouded in controversy. In 2020, they faced a lawsuit for allegedly violating the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act. This, coupled with a flurry of negative reviews on Trustpilot, further fuels the skepticism surrounding the company’s operations.

In the realm of tax relief, the narrative is often a delicate interplay of hope and despair, of promised relief and delivered disappointment. Optima Tax Relief, with its questionable practices and mixed reviews, seems to be emblematic of this narrative, leaving consumers to wonder if the promise of tax relief is just a pipe dream.

As we further dissect the workings of Optima Tax Relief in the following sections, we invite you, the reader, to maintain a cautious and skeptical stance. After all, where money and taxes are concerned, it’s always best to tread with care.

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Optima Tax Relief promotes a plethora of tax relief services that, on the surface, seem to offer a comprehensive solution to those in need. Their services include Tax Consultation, Tax Resolution, Tax Preparation and Compliance, and Tax Settlement. But, how effective are these services, and do they genuinely provide the relief they promise?

Tax Consultation

To begin with, Optima’s Tax Consultation service claims to offer expert advice to individuals and businesses dealing with IRS debt. However, multiple customer reviews indicate that this service often ends up being a sales pitch rather than a helpful consultation. Customers have reported feeling pressured into signing up for Optima’s services, only to later find that their tax situation remains unchanged.

Tax Resolution

Next, the company’s Tax Resolution service is arguably its most controversial. Optima claims to negotiate with the IRS on behalf of the taxpayer to reduce their debt. But, complaints on BBB and Trustpilot highlight a grim reality. Many customers report that after paying thousands in service fees, their tax debt was either minimally reduced or in some cases, not at all.

Tax Preparation and Compliance

Optima’s Tax Preparation and Compliance service is another area of concern. This service aims to ensure that clients remain in compliance with IRS regulations. However, some clients maintain that after engaging with Optima’s services, they ended up with additional penalties due to errors and delays.

Tax Settlement

Lastly, Optima’s Tax Settlement service purports to negotiate a settlement with the IRS to resolve tax debt. Despite the appeal of this service, client feedback suggests that the success rate is much lower than what the company implies in its marketing materials.

Adding to the skepticism is the lack of transparency in Optima’s pricing. The company’s website offers no clear pricing structure for their services, leaving potential clients in the dark until they engage with a sales representative.

Let’s take a step back here. Optima Tax Relief claims to provide an array of services designed to alleviate tax-related stress. But, do they deliver on these promises, or are they simply capitalizing on the desperation of those in financial turmoil? We invite you to participate in our interactive poll:

📊 Do you believe Optima Tax Relief's services are as effective as they claim to be?
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Sifting through layers of marketing hype, client testimonials, and company statements, it’s clear that Optima’s services warrant scrutiny. As we delve deeper into the controversies and risks associated with Optima Tax Relief in the next section, remember that in the realm of tax relief, not all that glitters is gold.

Risks and Controversies

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Photo Credit: Medallion Media Group

In a landscape filled with promises and hopes, Optima Tax Relief boasts of its position as an industry leader. However, the company’s reputation isn’t without stains. Complaints, lawsuits, and negative reviews taint its image, raising questions about its credibility and efficacy.

  • Telemarketing Controversy: One of the most significant controversies came to light in 2020 when Optima was sued by a former client. The client, Gerald C., claimed that the company made unsolicited telemarketing calls, violating the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act. This case sparked discussions about the company’s marketing practices and ethics.
  • Aggressive Marketing: Moreover, the company has been criticized for its aggressive marketing strategies. Some customers have reported feeling pressured into signing contracts, often without a clear understanding of what they’re signing up for. This has resulted in customers dealing with additional financial burdens without significant relief from their tax problems.
  • Mixed and Poor Reviews: Reviews on platforms like BBB and Trustpilot further underline the issues with Optima. Customers claim that despite paying hefty fees, their tax problems remain unresolved. Complaints include ineffective communication, long resolution times, and in some cases, no resolution at all.
  • Lack of Transparency: Further, the company’s transparency, or the lack thereof, with its pricing has also been a cause of concern. Optima does not provide clear pricing on its website, leaving potential customers in the dark about the possible financial commitment they will undertake.
  • Data Privacy: Lastly, there are concerns about data privacy. Like any other financial company, Optima requires sensitive personal and financial information from its clients. However, the company’s privacy policy states that they can share this information with third-party companies for marketing purposes, raising data privacy concerns.

With all these risks and controversies in mind, what do you think about Optima Tax Relief? Participate in our interactive survey and voice your opinion.

📝 Optima Tax Relief Survey

Are these controversies enough to dissuade you from working with them, or are you willing to take the risk?

Are these controversies enough to dissuade you from working with them, or are you willing to take the risk?

In the world of tax relief, it’s crucial to balance hope with skepticism. While tax relief companies like Optima may offer a lifeline to those in debt, it’s essential to consider the potential risks before committing. And as we move to the next section, comparing Optima Tax Relief with its competitors, remember that it’s not just about what a company offers, but also about how it delivers.

Comparative Analysis

In the realm of tax relief services, making an informed decision often involves comparing alternatives. As such, let’s pivot our critical lens towards a comparative analysis, placing Optima Tax Relief directly alongside a strong competitor – Anthem Tax Services.

Anthem Tax Services, an accredited tax relief company, has consistently garnered positive reviews for its transparent pricing and effective communication – two areas where Optima frequently falls short. Anthem offers a more personalized approach, assigning a dedicated case manager to each client, ensuring smooth communication throughout the process.

In terms of transparency, Anthem outshines Optima. Anthem’s pricing is clearly laid out on their website, eliminating any guesswork. This stands in stark contrast to Optima, which has received criticism for its vague pricing structure and unexpected fees.

Service-wise, both companies provide similar offerings, from tax preparation to settlement negotiations. However, based on client testimonials and BBB ratings, Anthem appears to have a better track record in delivering on its promises. Anthem boasts of an A+ BBB rating, with far fewer complaints than Optima.

Moreover, Optima’s track record of legal controversies is another area of concern. The 2020 lawsuit over alleged violation of the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act raises questions about Optima’s business practices. On the other hand, Anthem has managed to stay clear of such controversies, further cementing its reputation as a reliable and ethical provider.

From a bird’s eye view, using our interactive comparison chart, it becomes clear that Anthem Tax Services presents a more reliable and transparent solution to tax woes compared to Optima Tax Relief.

But, don’t just take our word for it. We encourage you to do your due diligence. Check out our in-depth review Anthem Tax Services. And remember, in the complex world of tax relief, the final decision lies in your hands.

As we move towards the conclusion, bear in mind that while the promise of tax relief can be enticing, it’s crucial to scrutinize every detail, compare alternatives, and select a service that aligns with your needs and expectations. After all, rushing into a decision could potentially lead to further financial distress instead of relief.

Still searching for a reliable tax relief solution? Consider Anthem Tax Services, our featured industry partner, for a more trustworthy and transparent solution. Check out Anthem Tax Services today.


In this journey through the complex world of tax relief, we’ve critically examined Optima Tax Relief, dissecting its background, services, controversies, and even comparing it to a top industry competitor. What we’ve found is a narrative filled with mixed reviews, questionable practices, and significant risks.

While Optima Tax Relief may appear as a shining beacon of hope to those mired in tax debt, the controversies and criticisms surrounding its services should give potential clients pause. The multiple complaints about inefficiency, the significant lawsuit, and the less-than-transparent pricing model all raise red flags about the reliability of Optima’s tax relief services.

As you consider your options for tax relief, remember the wisdom of Gordon Gekko from “Wall Street“: “The most valuable commodity I know of is information.” Research, compare, and scrutinize before you commit. After all, the goal is to relieve your tax burdens, not compound them.

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If you’re still searching for a trusted tax relief partner, consider our featured industry partner, Anthem Tax Services. For more information, check out our comprehensive tax relief comparison chart. The power to make an informed decision is in your hands. Choose wisely.


What services does Optima Tax Relief provide?

Optima Tax Relief offers a variety of services including tax consultation, tax preparation and compliance, tax lien removal, bank levy removal, tax resolution services, and IRS audit defense. They specialize in resolving and reducing IRS or state tax debt.

How long has Optima Tax Relief been in business?

Optima Tax Relief was founded in 2010, so they have been helping clients with their tax issues for over a decade.

Who is eligible for Optima Tax Relief services?

Optima Tax Relief typically helps individuals and businesses who owe the IRS $10,000 or more in back taxes. However, they offer a free consultation to anyone who needs help with tax issues.

How does Optima Tax Relief’s process work?

Optima Tax Relief’s process involves a four-step program: consultation, investigation, resolution, and protection. During the consultation, they assess your situation. Then, they establish communication with the IRS and investigate your case during the investigation stage. Once they’ve gathered all necessary information, they work on the resolution of your tax problems. Finally, they offer protection by providing services that prevent future tax problems.

Does Optima Tax Relief guarantee results?

While Optima Tax Relief has a history of successfully reducing tax debt, they cannot guarantee results as each case varies based on individual circumstances and the nature of the tax problem.

How much does Optima Tax Relief charge for their services?

The cost varies depending on the complexity of the case and the amount of work required. However, there is a one-time fee of $495 for the investigation phase. For exact pricing details, it’s best to contact Optima Tax Relief directly.

Is Optima Tax Relief legitimate and accredited?

Yes, Optima Tax Relief is a legitimate business and is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). They also have many positive reviews from satisfied customers.

Can Optima Tax Relief help with state taxes?

Yes, Optima Tax Relief can assist with both federal and state tax issues.

What makes Optima Tax Relief stand out from other tax relief companies?

Optima Tax Relief stands out due to their team of tax professionals including accredited tax attorneys and enrolled agents. They also offer a money-back guarantee if they can’t put you in a better position than where you started.

Is there any financial risk in using Optima Tax Relief’s services?

With their money-back guarantee, if Optima Tax Relief can’t put you in a better position than where you started, you can ask for your money back. However, the financial commitment should be considered against the potential for tax debt reduction.


  • Bank Levies: Bank Levies are legal actions that allow creditors to take funds directly from a debtor’s bank account to settle an outstanding debt, typically when the debtor has not been able to pay off their debts in a timely manner. This action usually requires a court order.
  • Tax Lien Withdrawal: Tax Lien Withdrawal refers to the process in which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) removes a tax lien, which is a legal claim against a taxpayer’s property for unpaid taxes, before the tax debt is fully paid. This action can help improve the taxpayer’s credit rating.
  • Tax Lien Discharge: A Tax Lien Discharge is a legal process that removes a tax lien, which is a claim by the government on a property due to the owner’s unpaid taxes, from a specific property, allowing it to be sold or transferred free of the lien.
  • Wage Garnishment Release: A Wage Garnishment Release is a legal process where the court order to stop the deduction of a certain amount from an individual’s salary, which was previously being used to pay off a debt. This typically occurs when the debt has been fully paid or settled.

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