Is Optima Tax Relief Legit? Yelp, BBB, & Glassdoor Reviews

By Expert Contributor

Contracted writer for Credit Knocks.

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Summary:  We read hundreds of reviews from Yelp, BBB, and Glassdoor to answer one question: Is Optima Tax Relief legit? Find out now.

If you owe money to the IRS and have looked into the best tax debt relief companies, you’ve probably heard about Optima Tax Relief by now and are wondering if they’re really legit.

On the surface, they look good.

They seem to be the only tax relief company getting great reviews and good press.

For example, Optima boasts the following:

  • 5-star average rating on 

  • Ranked #1 in the financial services community by INC 500

  • A+ rating in BBB

But before you spend your hard earned dollars to hire them, we understand if you want to dig a bit more and find out whether you can really trust them. 

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So, here’s what we did for you:

We went out and searched Yelp, BBB, and Glassdoor Reviews of Optima Tax Relief to find out what the actual reviews are saying.  We searched for the good, bad, and ugly. We left no stone unturned – and even looked at reviews on Ripoff Report to get the full picture.

In summary, we found that Optima Tax Relief has (by far) the best reviews online.  Their employees also rave about working there. But we also found some critical reviews, especially on Ripoff Report.  There’s a story behind every good and bad review, but we’ve done our best to show you:

  • What actual clients say about Optima (positive and negative)

  • Optima’s ratings & reviews at BBB, Yelp, Glassdoor, and more

  • How Optima stacks up against their competitors

Let’s dive in with employee reviews.

You always know what you’re going to get when you go to complaint sites… you’re gonna get complaints.  But you can gain some great insight into a company by seeing what their employees say.

Is Optima Tax Relief Legit?

Glassdoor Reviews of Optima Tax Relief

Reading Glassdoor reviews can give you an inside look at the company. Current and former employees use the site to leave their anonymous opinion about what it’s like to work there.

After all, wouldn’t you want to hire a company that treats their employees with respect?

The company has 4.7 out of 5 stars on Glassdoor. 95% would recommend Optima to a friend, and a whopping 99% of reviewers approve of the CEO.

Here’s what else employees say about working at Optima:

A Senior Tax Associate said:

I have been working at Optima Tax Relief full-time (More than 3 years). Excellent Pay! Benefits and a Happy Healthy Atmosphere to be a part of.

A Resolution Specialist said:

Optima has an amazing work culture; the company is always striving to boost office morale. Optima believes in keeping their employees happy so that they can keep the clients happy.

If you have tax debt, give yourself a break.  8% of all U.S. taxpayers are delinquent.  

A member of the Documents Associate Team in California said:

They really like to promote within, lots of company events, Great CEO, great atmosphere

Let’s move on to BBB.

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BBB Reviews of Optima Tax Relief

The Better Business Bureau has accredited Optima since 2012. The BBB has even given them an A+ rating, which is the highest rating a company can get.

Now to frame Optima’s success on BBB, we need to start by saying that BBB (like Yelp or Ripoff Report) is largely a place where people go to leave complaints rather than compliments.

It’s very common for a company to have MORE complaints than reviews.

For example, Anthem Tax Services, another popular tax relief provider, has 15 total reviews on BBB but has 29 complaints.

In other words, they have about 2 complaints for every 1 review.

… And Anthem is a solid company.

Comparatively, Optima blows Anthem away.

As for Optima’s customer reviews, they have 4.75 out of 5 stars based on over 1,300 reviews.  They also receive almost 4x as many reviews as complaints.

Here’s a couple of great reviews Optima received on the BBB site:

Joyce says:

Length of time from start to finish is quite long. Anxiety grows as agents work on the case. Agents are very responsive to calls, email & faxes. Outcome was very good.

User dah0301 left this review:

They are truly the best. I was one of those thinking ok, ok – I hear the radio commercials, but are they really going to help me? I will have to say after a few months, I can say they have, thanks to the entire team.

Optima also has some critical reviews, but if you read them, you’ll see than many of the clients came to Optima with unrealistic expectations.

For example, one user complained that he hired Optima to reduce the amount he owed the IRS, but Optima was unsuccessful, and now he owed more to the IRS than before, since interest and penalties had incurred.

This is the typical complaint against Optima.

But to be fair, Optima states on their website that they are not able to guarantee a reduction in what clients owe the IRS.  They can help you get your ducks in a row (such as getting current on unfiled taxes and filing the necessary forms to the IRS), but they can’t guarantee you’ll always end up getting a reduction.  

It’s very common for people to mess up the filing, and that’s why you go to a company like Optima.

Offer in Compromise Mistakes:

Tax relief expert (and former IRS revenue officer) Jeffrey McNeal says when he processed offers, he saw tons of mistakes made on the forms, even when prepared by CPAs and enrolled agents!  So be sure to ask an expert for help.

Yelp Reviews of Optima Tax Relief

If you search “Optima Tax Relief Yelp,” you’ll get over 32,000 results.

That could take forever to wade through!

To save you time, here’s what people are saying on Yelp about Optima Tax Relief:

From Robert in Texas:

Thank goodness: 

I myself was in a world of hurt concerning a tax issue that I had no chance of correcting by myself. Thanks to Optima Tax Relief, I can rest easy knowing I am square with the Fed. 🙂

From Ronald in California:

Optima Tax finished my wife's Offer in Compromise with the IRS, the paperwork was completed, and my wife is tax-free – thank you Optima tax relief for your hard work.

This is a big financial worry off our minds. If you have tax issues, give them a call.

Overall, they’ve received 191 reviews and have obtained a 2.5-star rating.  

Again, you see dozens of 5-star, happy clients, but you will also find some 1-star reviews.  The general consensus is people are hiring Optima for the wrong reason. They all seem to expect, even though they are warned, to get a tax reduction. 

Remember, Optima’s job is to help you file unfiled taxes, stop wage garnishments, and deal with the IRS so you don’t have to.  When a reduction is possible, they help you complete the paperwork properly so you can maximize your chance to get a reduction, but remember, it’s not guaranteed.

So our recommendation is that if you do business with Optima, you understand what they’re good at doing as well as their limitations going in.

Get a free second opinion!

Ripoff Report Reviews of Optima Tax Relief

Ripoff Report is a privately-owned website that’s been around since 1998. The reviews are uncensored and anonymous.

The site doesn’t ask for anything but an email address to leave your opinion, which can make the reviews a little controversial.

Plus, Ripoff Report doesn’t look into any of the claims – so there’s no telling if the reviews are real or not.

But, all that aside, here’s what people are saying about Optima on Ripoff Report:

A review from 2019 claims:

Optima Tax Relief is a ripped off. I pay 500 dollars for the first step, and they do anything for me. I owe IRS 12000 dollars and they did not decrease my payment.

In 2014, someone said:

Optima Tax Relief had me pay them 1000 dollars and did nothing for me.

We’re not dismissing Optima in this review, but the only thing you’re going to find at Ripoff Report are negative comments.  I think it’s better to go to a company like BBB to get a better picture of what’s really going on. The vast majority of users are happy with Optima’s service.

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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.

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.

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.

Trustpilot is another online review site that you can count on. So, what do they say about Optima Tax Relief?

For starters, Optima has 4.5 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.

Ashley said:

Optima Tax Relief did an amazing job making sure my tax issues were solved correctly.

Even though Robert gave Optima just one star, here’s what he had to say:

I’m very pleased with my results of what they have done for me. I would recommend them to anyone that needs help with tax problems.

And Jamario was pleased, too. Here’s what he said:

It was a lot of steps, but overall they were consistent and helped me with everything I needed help with.  Thanks Optima Tax.

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The Verdict: Is Optima Tax Relief Legit?

If you owe the IRS, you need a way out. Instead of letting the worry and anxiety ruin your life, give Optima Tax Relief a call.

They won’t be able to fix your problem overnight.

But they’ll give you peace of mind and work to get your tax issues resolved when you’re in over your head in debt to the IRS.

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See if you qualify for tax relief.  Get a free consultation with a tax relief expert to see if you qualify today.

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Get a free second opinion!

amy beardsley

By Amy Beardsley

Amy is a personal finance expert and freelance writer and owner of Early Morning Money, She has bachelor degrees in business administration and legal studies, and her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, Money Tips, and many other personal finance publications. 

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  1. I contacted Optima Tax relief on or about october 2020 and spoke to a representative named Nik who made me false promises and talked me into giving them over 90% of my SSI per month for 7 months to help me with an IRS problem. I then had MAJOR issues getting assistance or help and never heard from Nik again. I was later put in touch with Leah who said my case had been passed to someone else who supposedly "left me a message". I asked to cancel my services because i did not get the assistance I was promised. I was told that I could cancel but I would only get back around $1200 but I paid them over $2000. I was told they could not help me unless I was available all the time by phone but Nik said emails were fine since i am disabled. I was LIED to and now I have been told I have until 1/28/2021 to make a decision to keep the services or accept the offer of $1200. Optima tax relief has done NOTHING to help me with my debt at all. They are NOT available for one-on-one help as promised and in fact very condescending and threatening to me. I feel as though I have been taken advantage of to the highest degree by vultures, using my disability against me as well as taking almost all of my income during covid-19 and refusing to reimburse me all of my funds. If you go to the website for Business Consumer Alliance and look up the complaints, they are all VERY similar to mine and Optima Tax relief refunded all those people their money in full but not me. I feel like they took advantage of my mental handicap and are trying to strong arm me into signing a contract for settlement or continuance. They said they received my complaint from the BCA but would NOT offer me a full refund as they did all the others. That is discrimination at the highest level and I will NOT give up my rights or my SSI payments to them when they can't be bothered to keep promises.

  2. Sure they get excellent pay. Because optima tax does not reimburse if the customer isn't satisfied. They don't have to perform at all and they still get paid the full amount. I'm sure the employees are extremely happy. The customers on the other hand, not so much.

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