Editor's choice: National Debt Relief
- No cancellation fees
- Low minimum to enroll
- No upfront fees
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A large tax debt can leave you feeling uncertain about your financial future. A company like Optima Tax Relief may be able to put you on more solid footing.
Employing more than 400 representatives licensed to handle both federal and state taxes, Optima can negotiate back taxes of $10,000 or more on your behalf. Optima can also help with tax preparation, collections, auditing and ID theft protection. But it can be pricey, and there’s no guarantee of success.
All services with Optima Tax Relief start with its Investigation Phase, which costs $495. Optima considers the complexity of your financial situation, including how much you owe in back taxes and how long you’ve owed them, before providing you with a final quote to take on your case.
Costs appear to fall within the range of $2,000 to $5,000, depending on your needs. And it won’t move forward with your case until you’ve paid the full amount.
Based on the testimonials it advertises on its site, Optima just might help you keep a lot of what you owe in your own pocket. One client review claims the company negotiated a tax debt of $87,000 to just $100. Another boasts of negotiation that turned back taxes of $13,658 into a $7,666 refund.
Yet, it makes sense that Optima would advertise its biggest success on its site. You’ll find other customers online who claim their cases never made it out of the investigative phase and they weren’t refunded the initial payment.
Before you sign up with a debt relief company
Debt relief companies typically charge a percentage of a customer’s debt or a monthly program fee for their services. And they aren’t always transparent about these costs or drawbacks that can negatively affect your credit score. You might pay other fees for third-party settlement services or setting up new accounts, which can leave you in a worse situation than when you signed up.
Consider alternatives before signing up with a debt relief company:
Optima Tax Relief earns an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, garnering 4.5 out of 5 stars based on more than 600 customer reviews. You’ll find a similar number of reviews on Trustpilot, where it earns 4 out of 5 star.
Generally, customers say they’re satisfied with the outcome of their case and the support they received along the way. The majority of customers with negative experiences claim they lost money in their pursuit of relief. Some say the fee they paid to start the investigative phase was little to no help.
Ultimately, your results will vary based on how much you owe, how long you’ve owed it and the overall complexity of your case.
Yes. Optima Tax Relief encrypts your personal and financial details with industry-standard SSL protection. And they advertise an Optima Tax Relief Client Bill of Rights online, spelling out the rights you’re due when seeking services.
Optima is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals and the National Association of Enrolled Agents. Each of its staff members are licensed by the IRS to prepare tax returns.
Optima Tax Relief can be pricy, and there’s no guarantee that your tax balance will be lowered through them. However, one more affordable alternative you can look into is the Fresh Start initiative by the IRS. This program allows you to pay off your tax debt in more affordable chunks up to six years, without having to worry about penalties, liens or bankruptcy. However, you can’t owe more than $50,000 in taxes or you won’t qualify.
Get started online in three steps:
To sign up with a representative, call Optima Tax Relief at 800-536-0734.
Optima Tax Relief appears more reputable than some of its competitors, offering personalized services through licensed staff. Generally, customers online say they walked away with a positive experience.
If you owe $10,000 or more in back taxes and fees, Optima offers a free consultation, where you can ask about the likelihood of your case’s success.
However, if you’re struggling with more than just tax debt, you may want to consider looking into other forms of debt relief.
Enroll as little as $8,000 with this debt settlement company.
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American Debt Relief can save customers around 30% of the debt they enroll. But there are a few red flags.
Debt settlement for payday loans and more — with almost no information available before you sign up.
This debt settlement company accepts balances as low as $5,000 with typical savings 25% to a high 32% of your enrolled debt.
A debt relief loan might be available if you have bad credit or high debts. But it also might not be your best choice.
Accounts and assets that can help you reduce the amount of tax you owe.
A debt settlement company with overwhelming positive customer reviews — but isn’t the most transparent about costs.
Quarterly estimated tax payments are due to the IRS by September 15th. Here’s what to do if you’re short on cash.
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