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Optima Tax Relief LLC

Phone: (800) 536-0734 View Additional Phone Numbers 3100 S Harbor Blvd #250, Santa Ana, CA 92704 http://www.optimataxrelief.com

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Description

This company offers tax relief services provided by in-house professionals including Tax Attorneys and Enrolled Agents.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Optima Tax Relief LLC meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that lowered the rating for Optima Tax Relief LLC include:

  • Length of time business has been operating

Factors that raised the rating for Optima Tax Relief LLC include:

  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 25 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

25 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 22 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 1
Billing/Collection Issues 1
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 3
Problems with Product/Service 20
Total Closed Complaints 25

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

9 Customer Reviews on Optima Tax Relief LLC
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 8
Neutral Experience 1
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 9

Additional Information

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BBB file opened: September 18, 2013 Business started: 06/02/2010 in DE Business started locally: 06/02/2010 Business incorporated: 07/26/2011 in CA
Licensing

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

State Bar of California
1149 S Hill St, Los Angeles CA 90015-2299
http://www.calbar.ca.gov
Phone Number: (213) 765-1000
The license number is 272599.

Type of Entity

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Business Management
Mr. David King, President Mrs. Kristen Bemis, Legal Counsel Mr. Alex Edens, Director of Customer Service Mr. Kevin Giordano, VP Servicing Mr. Harry Langenberg, Managing Partner Mr. William Scholz, Executive Relations Manager Mr. Jesse Stockwell, Managing Partner
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. David King, President
Number of Employees

179

Business Category

Tax Return Preparation Taxes - Consultants & Representatives Attorneys & Lawyers - Tax

Method(s) of Payment
American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Debit, Check, Cashier's Check, Money Order, Cash
Refund and Exchange Policy
We offer a 15-day money-back guarantee.  Please visit our website for details.
Service Area
Nationwide
Alternate Business Names
Tax Relief Partners Taxes To Zero
Industry Tips
Identity Theft

Additional Locations

  • 3100 S Harbor Blvd #250

    Santa Ana, CA 92704 (800) 536-0734 (714) 361-4636

  • 1
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Professional AffiliationsX
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Types of Complaints Handled by BBB

BBB handles the following types of complaints between businesses and their customers so long as they are not, or have not been, litigated:

  • Advertising or Sales
  • Billing or Collection
  • Problems with Products or Services
  • Delivery
  • Guarantee or Warranty

We do not handle workplace disputes, discrimination claims or claims about the quality of health or legal services.

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BBB Complaint Process

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Industry Tips

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Additional Phone Numbers

  • (714) 361-4636(Phone)
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Complaint Detail(s)

7/15/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: They called my house at 7:43 AM to try to solicit business even though I'm on the Do Not Call list.

Business Response: After reviewing the complaint and thoroughly researching our data base, it does appear that 
Optima Tax received an online inquiry and request to contact *** ****** about our services 
regarding potential tax liability.

Optima Tax associates will not reach out to a potential client 
unless he or she submits an inquiry through our web portal and Optima Tax associates never 
solicited *** ****** prior to receiving the information online. Once *** ****** indicated that he 
was not interested in our services and requested that we remove him from our call list we 
complied to his request immediately. 
 
Based off our further internal review by our IT department, it appears that his information may 
have been maliciously submitted by another individual. We do not cold call and since we are not 
a telemarketing firm, we do not believe the Do Not Call Registry is applicable in this situation. 

Beyond the aforementioned, this person is not and has never been a client of ours. In light of this 
information, we respectfully request that this complaint not be published to the public and instead 
be removed entirely. We appreciate your attention to this and will anxiously await your response.

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********* and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

If their internal review by their IT department concluded that this was done by a 3rd party, I want to know WHO that third party is, if they if fact did find one.

Regards,

***** ******


Business Response: We would like to follow up regarding *** ******’s rejection to our response regarding his submitted complaint. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing who submitted his information. However, we understand his concern and are able to provide the following information in hopes to further satisfy *** ******’s request. We received the inbound lead at 5:32am Central Time on June 26, 2014 from an individual that went to ************************ The IP address of the computer that entered in *** ******’s information was **************. We did use an online tool to reverse search the IP address and it was able to track it back to a residential **** ****** account in ********** ****** *** Below is the lead information and data we were able to gather. LEAD CONFIRMATION DATA FOR SERVER: first_name: *****    last_name: ******    primary_phone: **********    email: *********************    unsecured_debt: 50000    state: CA    ipaddress: **************    timestamp: ********** ********    lead_type: Web Form    In_Ref_HTTP: ***************************    ref_source: Organic      General IP Information IP: ************** Decimal: ********** Hostname: *********************************** ISP: **** ****** ***** Organization: **** ****** ***** Services: None detected Type: Broadband Assignment: Dynamic IP Blacklist: Geolocation Information Country: ******************* **************** ***************************  State/Region: ********** City: ********** ***** Latitude: ******  **** *** ****** ** Longitude: *********  ***** ** ****** ** Area Code: *** Postal Code: ***** Again, in light of all the information we have provided, we respectfully request that this complaint not be published to the public but rather be removed as *** ****** has never been a client of ours. Furthermore, we have more than cooperated in providing information to help address *** ******** concerns. 

Consumer Response: I did NOT submit any information to any company for tax relief. I did NOT submit any information, or request for information/contact to Optima Tax Relief.

BBB's Final Determination: BBB determined that while the business addressed the complaint issues, the complanant was dissatisfied and the matter was outside the BBB Rules of Arbitration.

6/25/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: They sold me services and took me down an emotional roller coaster ride and cost me additional costs that I could not afford, which they were well aware of because I have to disclose all my personal financial matters to them upfront. I could have used that money to pay the IRS directly! I have not once seen proof of any documentation from their supposed attorney that they had ever sent anything on my behalf to the IRS. If I hired them to represent me, I should have been copied on any correspondence with the IRS. I have now spent what money I did have after being told I qualified for an offer in compromise, and now my principal balance is still the same. Not even late fees and penalties could be negotiated or waived. Again, why did I pay additional $4k?? For what?I now have a baby on the way...and I need this handled immediately so I can make this right with the appropriate people. I do not want to continue doing business with a company that misrepresents their business offerings to the wrong people. I consider this business praying on the weak and desperate to gain a profit.

Desired Settlement: I am demanding a refund of the $3,995.00 that I paid to have a resolution handled with this company due to misrepresentation. I was told that after my initial $796 payment that I more than qualified for a resolution, but when in fact all this company did was file my taxes and provide me a payment plan, which I could have done myself.

Business Response:

SUMMARY -

Optima Tax's management had already made contact with the client regarding the concerns stated in her complaint prior to receiving the Better Business Bureau notification. *** *********** has indicated she is pleased with the outcome of that conversation and will continuing utilizing Optima Tax services to satisfy her overall tax liability.

 

RESPONSE -

Optima Tax’s Management made contact with the client regarding her claim and addressed all her questions accordingly. Unfortunately there was some miscommunication regarding our strategy to resolve her tax debt. Ms. Nordenstrom understands what we need from her as we continue to work on pursuing the best resolution we can achieve on her behalf.  Ms. Nordenstrom is a valued client and we look forward to continuing our work with her.

 

At Optima Tax we strive to uphold the philosophy that "clients come first" and all of our representatives go through rigorous training to assure we abide by that philosophy. We take all complaints very seriously, and we do our best to turn them around when possible. Optima Tax believes it has addressed the client's concerns appropriately and considers the matter closed. Please do not hesitate to contact Optima Tax with any questions. Thank you.

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.  If they do not, I will contract BBB again to notify them.

Regards,

******* ***********

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

6/3/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Optima Tax Relief charged me 15K with a promise of reducing my IRS debt or eliminating it completely. The customer advisor had me submit forms and afterward called to tell me the HAPPY news of how their company could help. Well, it is a year later and none of the forms have been submitted to the IRS and they are saying I still owe the IRS LOTS of money and now with a year of penalty and fees associated. Optima had a case manager call me to tell me that I make too much money (after being out of work for two years which is why I would up in the situation to begin with) and I should not pay for my kids, let them all go to work and not school and reduce my rent. In order to pay the entire IRS debt. They were disrespectful, ignorant and irresponsible. I contacted the IRS and they had not received ANY of the forms and we have to start all over. They are a scam and should be shut down. My 15K should go to the IRS.

Desired Settlement: I want my 15K back. They did nothing to earn it except get me upset. The IRS never received any of their so-called negotiation paperwork. They did nothing!

Business Response:

Please note in reference to complaint number ******** ********** ****** Optima Tax’s management has reached out to Ms. ***** but unfortunately has had very little communication with the client regarding her concerns beyond the initial phone calls that were placed upon receiving the BBB complaint. Furthermore, we would like to note that Ms. *****’s proposed resolution services are fairly complex and it appears the client may not fully understand our strategy and the benefits behind it.

Unfortunately, the client has indicated she is not pleased with our proposed solution and feels as if we did not provide a service. However, upon review of her file, Optima Tax has worked her case as outlined in the Client Services Addendum and more importantly, stayed within the guidelines of the IRS to give her what we believe is the best possible resolution in hopes of being able to prevent the client from having to pull money from her retirement.

We will continue to make any and all efforts to assure the client receives the best possible outcome with our firm and encourage Ms. ***** to respond to our attempts to reach her so we can hopefully reach an amicable understanding. Communication is the key to our business relationship with our clients and we strive to uphold this philosophy. Please do not hesitate to contact Optima Tax with any questions. Thank you. 

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

5/30/2014 Guarantee/Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: advertisement that Optima Tax Relief runs I have a feeling that there are numerous victims falling prey to slick promises the ads portray.

Desired Settlement: Would like to see a BBB rating on Optima Tax Relief to allow the consumer to make a better choice who they do business with.

Consumer Response: Re: ID ******** This is to confirm that yes I did have a transaction with Optima Tax relief. Regard a copy of the advertisement I have no print advertisement I heard several commercials on the radio using celebrity spokesperson , **** ******, and that is how I was lead to use Optima Tax Relief.

Business Response:

SUMMARY -

Optima Tax's management had already resolved the client’s concerns prior to receiving the Better Business Bureau Notification. Mr. ******* has indicated that he is pleased with Optima Tax with regards to his claims and refund inquiry.

 

RESPONSE -

Optima Tax’s Management made contact with the client regarding his concerns prior to receiving the Better Business notice and clarified with Mr. ******* that our advertisement is in no way misleading, to which he agreed. Our advertisements specifically disclaim that we cannot promise or guarantee a certain result or outcome but will work to achieve the best results possible.  Additionally, Optima Tax incorporates and reiterates these disclaimers throughout the enrollment process. After discussing our program and advertisement in detail with Mr. *******, he recognized that he may have been premature in filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

 

At Optima Tax we strive to uphold the philosophy that "clients come first" and all of our representatives go through rigorous training to assure we abide by that philosophy. We take all complaints very seriously, and we do our best to turn them around when possible. Optima Tax believes it has addressed the client's concerns appropriately and considers the matter closed. Please do not hesitate to contact Optima Tax with any questions. Thank you.

Consumer Response:

 

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.

Regards,

***** *******

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

5/15/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I believe Optima Tax Relief misrepresented themselves in my case. I chose to use their services after seeing a TV ad stating that they had helped many people with tax issues using their highly qualified and trained tax lawyers. I explained that I had been making payments for many years to the IRS, but that my husband had recently taken his life and had left me with a life insurance policy that would be paid out soon. I was curious as to whether this would affect their being able to make an offer and compromise for me. I was encouraged and told that they could still help me. Six months later and after they had taken their cut (over 3200.00) I was told they could not make an offer for me because of the money deposited into my account (from the policy). The only thing they did was get the case put into a non-collectable status, which still accrues penalties and fees. I am worse off now than when I began this ordeal. I do not understand how a company that has been doing this for years and who have such "sharp" lawyers, could not know the answer to the question I put forth in my first encounter I had with them. I was under the impression that the government could not touch life insurance money and Optima apparently did not know the answer to this either. Really??! I am a widow on SSI benefits, with a small part-time job, just trying to get by. I am appalled at the unethical tactics of this company and will continue to contact anyone and everyone who will listen to my complaint. Next in line: the Attorney General, Consumer Affairs, Federal Trade Commission and Kurtis on Channel 13. I only wanted the truth, all they wanted was my money. Shame on them. Thank you for your time.

Desired Settlement: I do not believe they earned the money they extracted from me and would like a full refund returned to me immediately, as it will all have to go to the payment due the IRS.

Business Response:

SUMMARY -

Optima Tax's management has contacted the client and this matter is resolved. Ms. ******** has indicated that she is pleased with Optima Tax with regards to her refund inquiry.

 

RESPONSE -

Optima Tax’s Management made contact with the client regarding her concerns upon receiving the Better Business Bureau notification. Optima Tax’s program is broken down into two phases, an Investigation Phase and the Resolution Phase. Optima Tax not only conducted a thorough investigation on the client’s case but was also able to successfully achieve a favorable resolution. Unfortunately, and as the client indicated in her posting, she experienced some frustrations with the program, which we were disappointed to hear about.  Although Optima Tax presented various possible options prior to the Resolution Phase being initiated; ultimately there were complications that prevented Optima from achieving her desired end result. To clarify, Ms. ********’s comment in her BBB posting, the reason behind Optima Tax not being able to achieve her desired result was not a result of the client receiving a life insurance policy but rather how the funds were handled thereafter. However, after discussing the case in detail with Ms. ********, she confirmed that she understands why Optima Tax obtained the end result we did and is satisfied with the outcome.

 

At Optima Tax we strive to uphold the philosophy that "clients come first" and all of our representatives go through rigorous training to assure we abide by that philosophy. We take all complaints very seriously, and we do our best to turn them around when possible. Optima Tax believes it has addressed the client's concerns appropriately and considers the matter closed. Please do not hesitate to contact Optima Tax with any questions. Thank you.

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

BBB Comments: The consumer indicated to BBB that the complaint was resolved.

5/8/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I called optima tax relief because I owed thousands to the IRS. They explained their program and promised me I would be very satisfied with the service. After forking over 3000.00 optima did nothing to reduce my taxes they simply set me up on a payment plan.. I could have done that myself and paid the 3000 I paid them toward my taxes. After setting me up on payments they dropped me as a client. Will never recommend this company to anyone, they are thieves.

Desired Settlement: A refund of at least half of the 3000.00 that I paid

Business Response:

SUMMARY -

Optima Tax's management has contacted the client and this matter is resolved. Ms. ****** has indicated that she is pleased with Optima Tax with regards to her refund inquiry.

 

RESPONSE -

Optima Tax’s Management made contact with the client regarding her concerns upon receiving the Better Business Bureau notification. Optima Tax’s program is broken down into two phases, an Investigation Phase and the Resolution Phase. Optima Tax not only conducted a thorough investigation on the client’s case but was also able to successfully achieve the resolutions that were presented to her. Unfortunately, and as the client indicated in her posting, she experienced some frustrations with the program, which we were disappointed to hear about. However, after discussing the case in detail with Ms. ****** she has a clear understanding how Optima Tax achieved the end result of her case as well as being satisfied that her complaint to the Better Business Bureau was acknowledged by the Company.

 

At Optima Tax we strive to uphold the philosophy that "clients come first" and all of our representatives go through rigorous training to assure we abide by that philosophy. We take all complaints very seriously, and we do our best to turn them around when possible. Optima Tax believes it has addressed the client's concerns appropriately and considers the matter closed. Please do not hesitate to contact Optima Tax with any questions. Thank you.

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

4/24/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: My husband and I first contacted Optima in November 2012. We were told that we had an excellent chance of an Offer in Compromise being accepted, and that they had our case early enough to prevent both a levy and a lien. They also said they would handle the City and State back taxes. We paid them $9,000 and trusted them to take care of everything. After several months and many reassurances that the city and state were being handled, we received a letter from the city stating that we had been sent several notices and a suit may be filed against us. At that point Optima told us that they only handle Federal taxes and we were on our own for both city and state. Optima requested that we send the same personal information many times, and despite our prompt responses both a levy and lien were placed against us. Throughout this entire drawn out process our contact person was terrible at returning phone calls, and would emailing responses instead, but not answer all of our questions. Once, after sending the latest requested info, we waited 2 weeks for a response and then called. Our case manager lied about calling us back, then admitted she didn't call, and said she couldn't open the files we sent. After they finally submitted our offer, the IRS said we needed separate offers for filing single and filing married (our offer included 5 years, 2 of which were were married). We had to pay to overnight the new offers back to Optima, and then the next day we had to pay to overnight a check for the additional application fee. I think a knowledgable, organized company could have prevented the need for both of those events. The entire process took 16 months to be resolved, much longer than the advertised 6 to 9 months. I believe that if the company was working on our case in a timely manner it could have been resolved much faster. The final outcome in February 2014 ended up being positive, but the way we were treated by the company caused much undue stress and time.

Desired Settlement: Based on our service experience, I would like a partial refund of $1,000. This will compensate for the unnecessary stress caused by the company and the extra time required to send the same information multiple times, and to call for updates to make sure they were actually making progress with our case.

Business Response:

SUMMARY -

Optima Tax's management has contacted the client and this matter is resolved. Ms. ***** has indicated that she is pleased with Optima Tax with regards to her refund inquiry.

 

RESPONSE -

Optima Tax’s Management made contact with the client regarding her concerns upon receiving the Better Business Bureau notification. Optima Tax’s program is broken down into two phases, an Investigation Phase and the Resolution Phase. Optima Tax not only conducted a thorough investigation on the client’s case but was also able to successfully achieve the resolutions that were presented to her. Unfortunately, and as the client indicated in her posting, she experienced some frustrations with the program, which we were disappointed to hear about. However, after discussing the case in detail with Ms. ***** she confirmed that she is 100% satisfied with the end result of her resolution as well as being satisfied that her complaint to the Better Business Bureau was acknowledged by the Company.

 

At Optima Tax we strive to uphold the philosophy that "clients come first" and all of our representatives go through rigorous training to assure we abide by that philosophy. We take all complaints very seriously, and we do our best to turn them around when possible. Optima Tax believes it has addressed the client's concerns appropriately and considers the matter closed. Please do not hesitate to contact Optima Tax with any questions. Thank you.

Consumer Response:

I have been contacted by the company, and promised the requested adjustment. The message from you said to let you know immediately if this happen, but I could not find any other email contact beside this one, so please let me know if I need to send this to a different address.
Thanks,
****** *****

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

3/24/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: We hired Optima in the summer of 2013, after giving them the intial 995.00 required, we then gave them 1200.00 down and have been paying 266.50 every 2 weeks for the past 7 1/2 months. Total paid was $6990.00, our case went no where for 8 months. We were promised Optima was protecting us from IRS collections by their own reps (no longer there from what im told), that they were working to resolve our case, that we were going to be very happy with the outcome. After pressing for some answers in February finally this year after going no where , we were told, "Sorry, we are not going to be abe to get you an offer with the IRS" due to your income level. They knew this 8 months ago, your just now telling us 8 months later that we dont qualify? Convenient since we were down to the last 2 payments on our account. They told me I was welcome to speak to the IRS myself! I thought that what I paid them to do. After I called the IRS myself I was able to in 2 days and 5 hours on the phone with the IRS , resolve my case amicably with the IRS. I feel ashamed that I trusted this company and what they were telling us. The IRS told us no payment plan was in place and that they had received a few calls and letters from Optima was all. I feel that we are owed back 3/4 of what was paid to them. That a refund to us of 4660.00. Its been 8 months and they didnt resolve anything, I was left to do it. Calls were not returned timely and most correspondence was me calling them. Each time was,,,it takes time to resolve and they were telling me another 6 months for resolotion when their own site says 6-9 mothsto resolve. I resolved in 2 days! I feel lied to, and money taken fraudulently for services not provided. I want a partial refund of 4660.00 on my case. Thank you ****** *******

Desired Settlement: Refund of 3/4 of what was paid. 4660.00 due to services not provided.

Business Response:

SUMMARY -

Optima Tax's management has contacted the client and this matter is resolved. Ms. ******* has indicated that she is pleased with Optima Tax with regards to their refund inquiry.

 

RESPONSE -

Optima Tax’s Management was already in contact with the client regarding their concerns upon receiving the Better Business Bureau notification. Optima Tax’s program is broken down into two phases, an Investigation Phase and the Resolution Phase. Optima Tax conducted a thorough investigation on the client’s case and concluded that the client may qualify for multiple resolutions, which Optima Tax did pursue resolutions that were presented to her. Unfortunately, and as the client indicated in her posting, during the course of her Resolution Phase it was determined that the client’s income was too high to negotiate a reduction. However, Optima Tax was in the process and using its efforts to set the client up on an affordable payment plan. As a good faith gesture and without admitting any wrong doing, Optima Tax provided the client with a partial refund of her fees.

 

At Optima Tax we strive to uphold the philosophy that "clients come first" and all of our representatives go through rigorous training to assure we abide by that philosophy. We take all complaints very seriously, and we do our best to turn them around when possible. Optima Tax believes it has addressed the client's concerns appropriately and considers the matter closed. Please do not hesitate to contact Optima Tax with any questions. Thank you.

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

2/26/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I contacted Optima Tax Relief (OTR) after receiving a Notice of Deficiency from the IRS and seeing their TV commercial which they advertised a Fresh Start Initiative program being offered by the IRS. I told the OTR rep how I had become delinquent in my taxes, the attempts that I had made to resolve the issue and my concern because I was now unemployed receiving unemployment benefits. He said that he understood and that now was a good time to clear the matter up since I was unemployed with limited income. He said that they would deal with the IRS for me and on many occasions their clients have often ended up paying zero taxes. He said not to worry that they would work with me and I could make affordable monthly payments to pay off the balance that I owed them overtime. I told him that I would get back to him. In the interim, he kept sending me emails. When I had saved up the money they requested ($995) to handle my concerns, I contacted them again.OTR called me after their 15 day money back guarantee had expired prior to that they hadnt asked me for any of my tax information. They said they needed more money ($2575) to continue handling my case with the IRS and that I could make 5 monthly payments of $515. I told the rep that I couldnt afford that amount right now and that I wasnt sure how much I could afford because I hadnt got a response from the unemployment office regarding an inquiry to my unemployment. He told me to sign the agreement anyway that way I could still be protected from the IRS and get back with him as soon as possible.After hearing the unemployment office, I contacted OTR and told them that I only received $1800 a month in unemployment benefits and that my living expenses had recently changed and my monthly rent had increased to $920. I told him that I would like to continue with OTR and I offered to compromise and start paying them $250 per month immediately. He told me to write a detailed letter of hardship with proof of my income and rent and they would work something out. I submitted the letter of hardship with documentation as requested and after a week or so had passed and not hearing anything from OTR, I called them to inquire about their decision. I called 3 days in a row talking to several different reps because the one I needed to talk with was always on another line talking to someone else. I asked was there anyone else who could help me. They said no and they would give him the message. I left voice message after voice message for the rep to give me a return call for 3 days in a row. Finally, I sent an email and the OTR rep returned my call stating that he had received my previous messages but that he had been busy.He told me that they did receive my letter and the lowest monthly payment they could accept was $376 per month. I asked him what was the Fresh Start Initiative program and he said that it wasnt actually a program offered by the IRS but that was OTRs way of stating that now is the most favorable time to clear up past tax debt. I told him that I still couldnt afford the $376 they requested and asked him did anyone actually read the letter and supporting documents that I submitted. Again, I offered to pay $250 per month. He said that $376 was the lowest that they could go and besides they had to pay their tax attorneys and how did he know that they would get their money from me? I reminded him that OTR was well aware of my employment situation when I originally contracted with them that I had replied to all of their requests for information and supporting documentation that they had promised to work with me in regards to affordable monthly payments and that I felt that OTR hadnt lived up to our agreement because I had no new information now than that I wasnt already aware of, I still had no satisfactory resolution regarding my tax situation and I actually am now in a worse situation than before I contacted OTR to handle and resolve my tax situation because I just received an Intent to Levy letter from the IRS. I feel that if OTR hadnt wasted so much time I would never have been in this position and even if I had I would have representation and not have to deal with it on my own. I told the rep based on this, I wanted a full refund ($995) of the monies that I had entrusted to OTR to resolve this matter. I told him that I desperately needed those funds because I had given OTR all of my emergency savings and needed to find someone who could help me resolve the matter which had now become critical. The OTR rep said that I needed to talk with quality control and abruptly hung the phone up in my face.I called back and asked for their quality control department. I was then transferred to OTR rep 1 after telling in her my concerns she told me another rep, OTR rep 2, would give me a call because she wasnt trained in giving refunds. The next evening rep 2 called me back when I told him what happened and again requested a refund, he told me that I had to fill out a refund request and write a detailed statement of what happened and another rep, OTR rep 3, would call me back with their response after 48 hours. I again stressed the urgency to him and also in the detailed letter because I now had only a few days to respond to the Intent to Levy letter from the IRS/After 2 days, I hadnt heard anything from OTR so I called them back and asked for rep 4. He offered me a compromise which was what I had originally proposed a few weeks and OTR reps ago of $250 monthly payments plus a $700 discount on the balance due.

Desired Settlement: I am requesting a full refund ($995) because I still have no resolution to my tax situation and I am now in a worse condition than before I contacted Optima Tax Relief (OTR). i think that of OTR had provided the services I contracted with them I would have never received the intent to levy letter or at least they would be resolving the matter. I have lost valuable time dealing with this matter through OTR and I have to seek help from a different tax attorney now.

Business Response:

SUMMARY -

Optima Tax's management has contacted the client and this matter is resolved. Mr. **** has indicated that he is pleased with Optima Tax with regards to his refund inquiry.

 

RESPONSE -

Optima Tax’s Management was already in contact with the client and working to address the client’s concerns prior to receiving the Better Business Bureau notification. Optima Tax’s program is broken down into two phases, an Investigation Phase and the Resolution Phase, which is described in the Client Services Agreement. Optima Tax conducted a thorough investigation on the client’s case and concluded that there were multiple resolutions that may apply to the client’s unresolved tax situation. Unfortunately, the client did not feel it was feasible to move forward with the Resolution Phase based on how it was structured. Prior to the BBB complaint, Management had presented all possible resolutions to the client and made several attempts to accommodate the client, however; the client felt that it would be in his best interest to go another route to resolve his current tax matter. As a good faith gesture and without admitting any wrong doing, Optima Tax provided the client with a partial refund of his fees.

 

At Optima Tax we strive to uphold the philosophy that "clients come first" and all of our representatives go through rigorous training to assure we abide by that philosophy. We take all complaints very seriously, and we do our best to turn them around when possible. Optima Tax believes it has addressed the client's concerns appropriately and considers the matter closed. Please do not hesitate to contact Optima Tax with any questions. Thank you.

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

OTR forced me into a compromise that I was not in agreement with but because they had tied my money up with red tape for months, I felt I needed to settle so that I could retrieve some of my money to get the unsolved tax situation resolved. OTR was well aware of the fact that I was in dire straits and needed money. While it is important for a company to return a profit, it’s even more important that they earn one. Nowadays, many companies pride themselves and talk “good customer service” but actions speak louder than words. At the end of the day, I feel like I’ve been robbed and if you’ve ever been robbed before you know that is not a good feeling.

Regards,

****** ****

Business Response:

We are disappointed to receive Mr. ****’ latest response as Optima Tax has tried on multiple occasions to address Mr. ****’ concerns and have gone so far to propose several accommodations to assist him.

While we understand that when Mr. **** was initially presented with an approved refund, he indicated that he was less than happy with Optima Tax’s decision; however, upon being sent an itemized breakdown detailing the work Optima Tax performed during the initial investigation, Mr. **** then reached out to our Executive Relations Manager and confirmed his acceptance of the refund. At no point did Optima Tax force Mr. **** to accept the approved refund. We understand and appreciate that Mr. **** is unemployed and may be in “dire straights” for money but it does not negate the fact that Optima Tax performed its contractual obligations that Mr. **** engaged Optima Tax to perform. Furthermore, Optima Tax proposed on multiple occasions options to Mr. **** to help address the affordability of the proposed resolution program so most importantly, Optima Tax could help the client with his current tax liability. Mr. **** ultimately decided to not move forward with any of the presented options. Optima Tax did everything in its power to assist the client, which in the end included a generous refund. Optima Tax believes the refund that was issued on 1/14/2014 was more very fair and believed it to be an amicable parting. The client has not presented any evidence that Optima Tax did not perform the services as indicated in the Client Services Agreement.

Optima Tax values its clients and makes every effort to accommodate reasonable requests. Optima Tax felt it properly addressed Mr. ****’ concerns and at this point in time respectfully disagrees with his claims. 

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this proposed action would not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

I am not satisfied with the resolution because even though OTR offered several options to my tax solution, they ultimately still didn't resolve my tax issue in a satisfactory manner. I think that they didn't meet their contractural agreement because I contracted them to help solve my problem which was not done. I have since contracted a new company who had no problem accepting my monthly payment arrangements. In fact, I have only paid this new company $300 and they are in the midst of calculating my taxes. They have done more in 4 weeks than OTR did in 4 months and again I have only paid them $300. Also, OTR was only going to process my Federal tax returns and leave the State returns to me to handle. OTR was only going to process my returns for the years 2009 to 2012. This new company again has exceeded OTR in that they are processing both my Federal and State tax returns and bringing me into full compliance meaning they are processing both my Federal and State returns for the years 2009 to 2013. At the end of the day, I am completely satisfied with this new company. All my tax needs are being met which is all i wanted. In my humble opinion that's what I call good customer service.

Regards,

****** ****

Consumer Response: I have been in contact with Optima Tax Relief and all my concerns have been met. We have reached a final agreement. I am satisfied with the outcome. I would like to close my complaint. Also, I would like to thank the BBB for all of your efforts in helping me to resolve this situation. Nowadays when many business ethics and practices have gone askew, it's refreshing to know that the BBB still stands by the values for which you were originally founded. Again, thank you so much

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

2/14/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Initial salesperson promised to help with our tax situation. We explained everything to him. He set us up on a payment plan. No longer heard from him. Their tax preparation person took over to complete our 2012 tax return, which we did not ask them to do. After the tax return preparation, communication with the company was terrible. They did not help us with our back tax issues and could not get a straight answer from anyone there. They kept telling us that we could talk to their attorney handling the case but we never did. We finally went directly to the IRS and they told us that no one had contacted them regarding our issues. We have one or two payments left with them and I want to get our money back. We are having to work with the IRS ourselves now which we all know is a bigger issue.

Desired Settlement: I want the fees refunded. This has been a terrible experience and they have not lived up to their claims.

Business Response:

SUMMARY -

Optima Tax's management has contacted the client and this matter is resolved. Ms. ****** has indicated that she is pleased with Optima Tax with regards to her refund inquiry.

 

RESPONSE -

Optima Tax’s Management reached out to the client immediately upon receiving the Better Business Bureau notification to address the concerns mentioned in the complaint. Optima Tax’s program is broken down into two phases, an Investigation Phase and the Resolution Phase, which is described in the Client Services Agreement. Optima Tax conducted a thorough investigation on the client’s case and concluded that there were multiple resolutions that may apply to the client’s unresolved tax situation. Our client agreed to continue services with Optima Tax and pursue the resolutions presented to her. Due to some changes in her retirement plans, Optima Tax had to revise its’ original strategy, which Optima Tax believed was presented to the client in detail. Optima Tax’s staff was under the impression that the client understood and was in agreement with the changed strategy whereby Optima Tax would continue its resolution efforts upon notification of her retirement. Unfortunately, there seems to have been a misunderstanding regarding our strategy, which prompted the client to file a complaint. As a good faith gesture and without admitting any wrong doing, Optima Tax provided the client with a partial refund of her fees.

 

At Optima Tax we strive to uphold the philosophy that "clients come first" and all of our representatives go through rigorous training to assure we abide by that philosophy. We take all complaints very seriously, and we do our best to turn them around when possible. Optima Tax believes it has addressed the client's concerns appropriately and considers the matter closed. Please do not hesitate to contact Optima Tax with any questions. Thank you.

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and find that this resolution would be satisfactory to me.  I will wait for the business to perform this action and, if it does, will consider this complaint resolved.

Regards,

***** ******

BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.

2/7/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: After realizing I had neglected to file an extension for the tax year 2011 after having never missed a filing deadline before, I was truly shaken after finding out that my 1099 also incorrect, showing me owing more than 150 thousand in back taxes for one year. I went to optima tax appealing to the for some assistance to straighten it out. An initial fee of 995.00 for an "investigation" was required, which I paid. A month later having not received any emails from them with any information and no forms for me to fill out as they had promised, I finally called their office some 6 weeks later. I was told, **** ********, the man handling my account, would be given the message to call me back and that in the meantime, she herself would send me a packet. She did. I filled out income statements and some other information required of me ,and faxed them to their office with copies of any correspondence from the IRS and a revised 1099 showing the actual amount I had taken from my retirement account. This amount vastly differed from the incorrect form, making the amount I owed to the IRS much less than the amount originally thought. I decided to let optima handle it for me as they claimed in the beginning it would be roughly 2 to 3 thousand to do so. I waited to hear back from them and when I did, it was a very rude **** ********. He said, and I quote, "I understand you called and said "I NEEDED to call you so, what do you need"? I told him I needed an update on my account that I was quite anxious. Rudely, he said he would get back. He called a month later, he told me how I was likely going to lose everything I had unless, I paid them 12 thousand dollars to fix it. 15, if I wanted to make payments. He had not reviewed the revisions I sent him at all. He also told me the IRS could come to my door at any time and after I hesitated, he TOLD me, I was in trouble. I was frightened to the point of a hospital visit for chest pain. $995, for intimidation and zero work performed. Services not rendered.

Desired Settlement: I disputed this amount with my back and was refunded the money but, Optima is trying to recover the money once again. Further, I don't want anyone else frightened in this way again. Services were absolutely not rendered.

Business Response:

SUMMARY -

Optima Tax's management has contacted the client and this matter is resolved. Ms. ********* has indicated that she is pleased with Optima Tax with regards to her refund inquiry.

 

RESPONSE -

Optima Tax’s Management was already in contact with the client in an attempt to address the client’s concerns prior to receiving the Better Business Bureau notification. Optima Tax’s program is broken down into two phases, an Investigation Phase and the Resolution Phase, which is described in the Client Services Agreement. Optima Tax conducted a thorough investigation on the client’s case and concluded that there were multiple resolutions that may apply to the client’s unresolved tax situation. Unfortunately, the client did not feel it was feasible to move forward with the Resolution Phase based on how it was structured. Prior to the BBB complaint, Management had presented all possible resolutions to the client, however; the client felt that it would be in her best interest to go another route to resolve her current tax matter. As a good faith gesture and without admitting any wrong doing, Optima Tax agreed to not dispute her charge back filed with her bank.

 

At Optima Tax we strive to uphold the philosophy that "clients come first" and all of our representatives go through rigorous training to assure we abide by that philosophy. We take all complaints very seriously, and we do our best to turn them around when possible. Optima Tax believes it has addressed the client's concerns appropriately and considers the matter closed. Please do not hesitate to contact Optima Tax with any questions. Thank you.

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

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