They lie on the first call.
I initially spoke with Annette Martinez, who straight out lied to me during our first conversation at which point I should have known. She told me "We specialize in reductions for our clients." She also said you can set up your own payment plan with the IRS if you want to pay the full amount including penalties and interest. I then phoned another representative from Optima and they told me that I would, in fact, have to pay interest even if Optima setup a payment plan for me. Lastly, they told me Optima is not a reduction company and they would get fired if they said that to a client.
So how is it that I call one company "Optima Tax Relief" and get to different stories. After further research, it appears the second consultant I spoke with was correct and honest while Ms. Martinez wasn't. I will never hire Optima.
Not calling Optima a scam, but they operate like scammers.
I'm not calling Optima a scam, but they operate like scammers. I paid $495 up front. After a few weeks, Optima ask for $3k+ to submit my back filings to the IRS. Optima will remind you over, and over, about unsubstantiated amounts that the IRS "could" ask for. They throw those big numbers at you and then tell you to pay them a lesser amount just to file on your behalf. Not calling Optima a scam, but they operate like scammers.
You always talk to salespeople who get commissions based on how much they "con" out of you. Do NOT give Optime your banking information. They use your banking information and payment information to access how much they will ask you to pay them before they file (the $3k+). This doesn't include what the IRS will access you owe them. Once I told the "salesman" I won't be setting up a payment plan to pay them $3k+ and I will look at other options, his demeanor changed from "happy to help you" to "we will contact the IRS and inform them that we are not representing you, and they can move forward with accessing fees, garnishing your wages and freezing assets". He then hung up abruptly. Not calling Optima a scam, but they operate like scammers. I regret giving them $495 initial fee up front.
Don't fall for it
They are in trouble with the IRS. This company offers to help. The initial price tag is affordable but beware of the charges that follow. There are more affordable options. In addition, my experience with this company has been like dealing with bots. Everything is fake. Phony promises up front. It's all BS after you've sunk thousands of dollars into buying their "help." Caveat emptor. Buyer beware. You've been warned. If you don't accept this review, do some research online. There are many, many reviews about what a fraud this service is.
Optima did nothing for me.
What a waste of time and money but it's not their fault, all mine. I spoke with a lawyer and he said they wouldn't do anything I can't do. And boy was he right. Most positive posts say the employees are wonderful, but that's all you get. They kept saying resolution, but nothing happened. Three years later, all the interest and penalties, they were going to talk to the IRS so I can pay them. HUGE waste of time and money. Do it yourself. They can't do anything you can't and they don't do anything you can't. Trust me.
Optima a scam!
Please, folks, don't use this unethical crapbags! We thought they could assist us, I encouraged my wife to go along and trust me but after over $5,000 lost to them and nothing to show, we were devastated! We thought maybe it was true and up front, but it was a lie, they are liars! I'm a retired law enforcement officer who got injured on the job, forced to retire and got behind in taxes and needed some assistance. I had to try to keep my house so I went with Optima, they gave a preacher's speech of promise and a positive outcome along with help, they delivered squat! My wife and I will swear to their do-nothing and unethical, dishonest, company. They will promise, say they haven't, but promise and provide Nothing. Please do not use them...figure it by going to a honest attorney for guidance.
Think about who you're giving your money to!
I had a stay date granted from IRS that Optima did request to keep me out of collection phase with IRS. My first "specialist" stressed it was important to keep me out of this phase. Optima has ignored this date and has not gone to IRS yet, and wonder if tax attorney will even care or do a good job when/if they are up against IRS! So I guess I am in collection phase now due to their slowness. When I finally talked to the case manager and aired my concern, she said basically not to worry about the date! So I do not know what's going on. Scary!
Hired them on July 14th, 2018 and two and a half months later nothing, as IRS interest and penalties add up. You do not get updates. After many many calls, people I talk with do not know what is going on. One hand doesn't know what other hand is doing. Tax preparer was lazy and not the brightest bulb in the box. Cost valuable time slowly preparing taxes for only two tax years. If I remember right, you personally can file only three past/back tax years. These were older and supposed to go with a tax attorney when they meet (if ever) with IRS.
Very, very angry and disappointed with the service! I am paying them $6,495 for an IRS debt of $43k. I am paying $642 of hard-earned dollars a month to Optima for seven months. As of today. I have already (overpaid) paid Optima $3779 for bad service. When you get that frightening letter from IRS, take a little time to research firms that can help you. Optima experience has been worrisome and lacking. I wish I had calmed down and researched firms more. I would suggest if you are wanting REAL service to stay away from Optima. They do not respect that you have hired them to take care of business for a lot of money and do it in a timely manner. Communication is slow and another disappointment. Pretty sure first phase so-called "specialist/salesman" you get is paid a commission for your case.
Wasted $10K for horrible Optima Tax Service. Didn't reduce a penny!
I paid Optima Tax $10,000 to help me file my delinquent returns and negotiate a lower tax liability which they assured me I qualified for the Fresh Start program offered by the IRS. So, they did not help reduce my tax debt by one penny. I had to constantly follow up with them, had to resend documents over and over as they stated they never received them. At the end of the day, I paid $10,000 for them to file tax returns and I could have negotiated a better settlement with the IRS than they did. I owed $60,000 and now I owe more because of the delay in my case, so now I owe $65,000 and I'm out $10,000 which I could have given to the IRS.
Scam, scam, scam
The hook was the $499 initial payment! They took two weeks to even let the IRS know that they represented me. Then they said they needed an additional $14k to continue representation. I asked if they had negotiated any tax reduction, figuring that a reduction larger than the bill would make it worth the money. They told me that they didn't even start negotiations. They did offer to finance the bill over 12 months, but the payments were going to be over $1,200 a month not including the IRS payments. When I told them those payments were not possible, they dropped me!
Do not trust this company!
This Optima Tax won’t help you with IRS, they scammed me for $5000 by talking me into and making me believe they can help me, but they will not, in the end, instead they will tell you that IRS doesn't grant your settlement because you can pay your debt. So pretty much you pay so you can have a payment plan with IRS, which anyone can do themselves online. They take advantage of poor and already in debt people. Do not trust this place, it’s not true, everything they say are lies. I’m telling the truth, my name is John Gomez. I’ve been scammed by this company. Do not trust them ever! Don’t believe their commercials, it’s bogus. I’m already in debt, plus now I don’t even know how to pay the $5000 I owe on the credit card that I’ve used.
Optima is a scam!
Unfortunately, I believed Optima Tax Relief could help me with my tax issues. It wasn't until after I was locked into a plan that I found out it was a scam. I was told I needed to sign documents in order to negotiate any tax reductions. After I signed, I was told they couldn't save me any money and the IRS wanted full payment, non-negotiable. I decided to contact the IRS directly and was told Optima barely contacted them and mentioned the IRS is always willing to negotiate. I made a bad decision in doing business with Optima, and I can only hope no one else falls for their scam. Do your homework first, and call the IRS directly before making any commitments.
Lawyers and accountants
Most of these companies are run by lawyers and ex-IRS agents. You are better off dealing with the IRS personally. Why spend thousands to these rip-offs, when you can just pay it to the government. They wanted almost $6,000 over a approximately $18,000 IRS bill. Then I would still have to pay over $4,000 to the IRS too! Most people will lie on TV if paid to do so, or they can scam you for your money.