Insight Financial Solutions Review – Customer Reviews Show Low Rating

Insight Financial Solutions is a tax resolution firm based in Palm Bay, Florida, with offices in Evergreen, Colorado, and Olathe, Kansas. They handle tax debt related cases. They are best known for using Academy Award Nominated actress Sally Kellerman as one of their spokespersons. She was one of their clients according to the advertisements.

Is Insight Financial Solutions A Law Firm Or Not?

It has listed as a managing member an Enrolled Agent. In most states, a non-attorney can not have an ownership role in a law firm. None of the persons listed as managers of the LLC on the Florida Secretary of State website are attorneys either.

This leads us to believe that Insight Financial Solutions is not a law firm. The difference when it comes to tax relief can be crucial. Most tax relief firms are not law firms and therefore have no obligation to complete your case. They can close any day and you are a client of the company.

Insight Financial Solutions Uses Tax Consultants, aka Salespeople

It seems they use tax consultants in their consultation. This often results in clients not getting a realistic outlook on their potential tax case outcomes. Maybe Insight is the first firm to be different, but most the time salespeople are not knowledgable on the cases and result in bad reviews in the long run. At TRP we always have an attorney consultation if your case is the type we handle. This ensures a realistic expectation, settlement or not.

Non-Law Firm Closures In Tax Relief

If a non-law firm tax relief company shuts down and you area client, you are out of luck, and out of your free. Attorneys are required to complete your case once hired as long as you keep paying the bill and providing the documents they need.

The following tax relief companies have recently closed: American Tax Relief, Nationwide Tax Relief, Blue Tax, and many others. Insight has been around since 2008, which they get credit for, as it is ancient in this business.

Insight Financial Solutions – Reviews From The Internet

We could not find any independent positive reviews of Insight Financial Solutions. Their Yelp page shows one verified, one star review.

insight financial solutions review

He was not happy with Insight Financial Solutions.

To paraphrase the above review: he paid $2,500 then was told he had to pay another $2,500. He then did not get the settlement he was told he would get. This is part of the problem with usin

Peeking into the Not Recommended Reviews, there were four other reviews also rated one star:

insight financial solutions reviews

Four more unhappy clients.


Some said they had the same experience as the verified review. These reviews appear to be real even though they are not recommended. Yelp’s algorithm tends to not recommend reviews from people that only leave one review. Looking at the time frames and content though, these do not appear to be fake reviews.

In fact, these look like people who normally do not even use Yelp, but were so mad at Insight Financial Solutions they made an account just to complain. Most companies that use “Tax Consultants” end up with unhappy customers.

Insight Financial Solutions Fees And Hiring

If you are considering hiring Insight Financial Solutions to handle your case, you may want to get a second opinion. The fee for Insight Financial Solutions appears to be $5000 based on the reviews, but we are not totally sure. If they close, you are most likely out of luck, as they appear to be a non-law firm tax relief company.

Good Parts About Insight Financial Solutions

The good things about Insight are they have been around since 2008, which is a long time in this industry where companies are constantly closing, and they actually have attorneys on staff. It also appears they do actually work on the cases, which is more than you can say for some tax relief firms.

If You Owe Less Than $20,000: Often Just Do It Yourself

The threshold for most tax relief firms to take your case is $10,000. You may be familiar with all the tax relief marketing out there asking if you owe “$10,000 or more to the IRS.” For many companies it is the magic number at which you should hire them.

At TRP we generally do not take cases with balances less than $20,000. The reason is the cost/benefit for the client is often not worth it. Also, these cases are often much simpler. We tell people that call us who owe less than $20,000 to check out our tax help guide and do it themselves.

Overall: I’d Skip Insight Financial Solutions LLC

Given the information available thanks to the internet, Insight does not look like a company worth hiring. There are no verifiable positive reviews that are independent. It does not appear to be a law firm. The only Yelp reviews are complaints.

Looking for a second opinion and owe more than $20,000? Give us a call at (888) 515-4829 or visit our contact us page and schedule a free, no obligation consultation with one of our expert tax attorneys.

Posted in Tax Relief Companies | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Types of Offer In Compromise – The Different Ways to Settle IRS Tax Debts

Types Of Offer in Compromise

Offer in Compromise is a settlement for tax debts than less than the amount owed. The most common Offer in Compromise type for the IRS is a personal Offer for doubt as to collectibility. For Doubt as Collectibility there are both Personal and Business Offers in Compropmise. The other less common types of Offer In Compromise are Doubt as To Liability and Exceptional Circumstances.

Doubt as to Collectibility and Doubt as to Liability Offers have a $186 processing fee. The fee is waived if certain financial requirements are met and Doubt as to Liability Offers have no fee.

Doubt as to Collectibility Offer in Compromise

Doubt as to Collectibility is the most popular of the different types of Offer in Compromise. The reason is it is by far the easiest to get. Even if there may be a chance at an Effective Tax Administration or Doubt as to Liability Offer, we still have our clients do Doubt as to Collectibility most of the time since it is easier to get.

doubt as to collectibility

Doubt as to Collectibility is often the best way to settle.

This type of Offer in Compromise is based on your financial situation. The IRS looks at your “Reasonable Collection Potential.” Your Reasonable Collection Potential is the amount the IRS can expect to collect from you based on the IRS Collection Financial Standards. This looks at your total assets and available income based on the IRS’ calculations. If you have more assets than the total tax debt, it is unlikely you will get this type of Offer in Compromise accepted. If you have a high rent or mortgage, you might not qualify as well.

The same financial analysis applies to both personal and business Offers. Business Offers are harder to get accepted. The rules can get trickier for payroll debts.. See our personal Offer in Compromise guide for more information on this type of Offer for individuals. See our business Offer in Compromise page for more information on business Offers.

Exceptional Circumstances Offer in Compromise (AKA Effective Tax Adminstration)

This type of Offer in Compromise is basically a plea for help when you won’t qualify for a Doubt as to Collectibility Offer in Compromise. You have enough to pay the debt in full, but for some reason it would cause an extreme economic hardship or be unfair for you to pay it.

Sound hard to get? It is. This is the least successful type of Offer in Compromise. The reason better be good for the IRS to forgive the debt when you can full pay it. If you really have some extraordinary circumstances there is a possibility you can get an Offer in Compromise accepted. However, the cases are few and far between.

Doubt as to Liability Offer in Compromise

If you believe the tax amount owed is incorrect, you would do this type of Offer in Compromise. If there is already a final court judgment or decision on your case, this type of Offer in Compromise is not available.

Examples of when a Doubt as to Liability Offer (IRS Form 656L) Would Be Filed

Bad Audit: If you believe your audit was done incorrectly or there is new evidence to support your deductions.

Improperly Filed Returns: Stock options from are given to you from your employer. You report them based on what the employer stated as the value. You pay the taxes and Alternative Minimum Tax, but cannot pay the full debt. The  stocks were not valued properly due to fraudulent acts of the broker and/or employer. You find this out later and file a claim for refund and the IRS denies it.

The IRS does not want you to file this type of Offer in Compromise right away in most situations. The chart on Page 3 of  IRS Form 656L explains what you should do first in a variety of situations where you may be considering this type of Offer.


Selecting The Best Type of Offer in Compromise

If you qualify for a Doubt as to Collectibility Offer in Compromise, this is the best option in most cases. Acceptance is more likely for these types of Offer in Compromise. If you can full pay the balance based on the IRS Collection Financial Standards, these might be your only Offer in Compromise options.

If you owe more than $20,000 to the IRS give us a call at (888) 515-4829 and press 1 to setup a free consultation with one of our experienced tax attorneys. They will give you a better understanding of your options going forward with different types of Offer in Compromise. You can also contact us and fill out our online form.

Please note that the information on this page is informational only and does not constitute legal advise. Use at your own risk.

Posted in Offer In Compromise | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Legacy Tax and Resolution Services vs. Tax Resolution Professionals

Welcome to our ongoing series of comparing tax relief companies. Here we compare Legacy Tax and Resolution Services of Scottsdale, Arizona, to Tax Resolution Professionals of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Legacy Tax And Resolution Services Ratings

Legacy seems to be overall a well company. They have one 5 star Yelp Review. There are mostly positive Google reviews. For this company there is only one complaint on Google. After reading the owner’s response it does not seem like a legitimate complaint.

Update 08/24/2017: They now have received an additional five star review and one single star review. Their Yelp rating is now 3.5 stars.

Legacy Tax and Resolution Services has an A+ BBB rating.

Tax Resolution Professionals Ratings

TRP is a well rated company. TRP has 13, 5 star Yelp reviews. No complaints on Google for TRP.

TRP has an A+ BBB rating as well.

Legacy Tax and Resolution Services: What Services Do They Offer?

They seem to offer all the same tax resolution services that most companies offer. They also offer tax planning and setups. They seem to be a “jack of all trades” type of tax firm.

One service that did not seem worthwhile was hiring them to tell them whether or not your tax debts could be discharged in bankruptcy. You may be considering bankruptcy and have debts besides just tax. A bankruptcy attorney will tell you this for free what qualifies and what does not.

For more information on deciding, see our Bankruptcy or Offer In Compromise guide.

Tax Resolution Professionals: What Services Do We Offer?

At TRP we specifically handle back due tax debt issues. This means IRS and satte tax collections, Offer In Compromise, Currently Non Collectable Status. We do not do tax planning or other areas of tax law. There is too many tax areas to truly be an expert at them all. Our tax attorneys at TRP are experts specifically in back due tax debt cases. This ensures the best results.

Recent Results

TRP posts case results. These settlement results can be found on our About Us page on our new domain,

Legacy Tax and Resolution Services has no results posted.

At TRP, we do not promise any kind of settlement. However, in your consultation we can give you an idea of whether or not we think you have a good shot. We also provide a complete Offer In Compromise Guide to do it yourself if you choose.


The Biggest Difference: Attorney-Client Privilege

TRP is a law firm, Legacy Tax and Resolution Services is not. Contact with your attorney and staff at TRP is covered by Attorney-Client privilege. Communication with Legacy Tax and Resolution Services is not.


Posted in Legacy Tax and Resolution Services, Tax Relief Companies, Tax Resolution Reviews | Tagged | 3 Comments

Tax 10000: A Referral Service

You may have heard the ads on the radio or seen the ads on TV for Tax 10000. Turns out they are not a tax relief firm, tax law firm, or any type of tax related firm that may work on your case. They are simply a referral service where they sell the inbound call leads.

Why the name Tax 10000?

$10,000 is the magic number for most tax relief firms. If you owe $10,000 or more, the IRS can file a tax lien against you. Its also the dollar point at which its worth it for most people to hire a tax professional. If you owe $5,000 most of the time the best option is just getting into an IRS payment plan.

We have gotten emails and calls before of people offering to sell similar calls to our firm. Wonder why most tax firms charge so high? It’s because they are paying $65 just to receive your call, whether you actually sign with them or not. Tax 10000 is one of the companies selling these inbound calls to random tax relief firms. After the calls are sold for the first round, some of these sales companies resell the contact information to yet another firm. If you called Tax 10000 and are now getting a ton of calls from different firms, that could be why.

Does Tax 10000 Have Quality Tax Relief Firms?

The quality of the firms they refer is unknown. Many tax relief firms connect you to a high pressure salesman who will claim you qualify for an Offer In Compromise whether you really do or not. They often reference this in commercials as settling for pennies on the dollar. Some people do in fact qualify, and sometimes for even less than pennies on the dollar. We have many cases where debts over $100,000 have been settled for $100, a fraction of a penny on the dollar.

Can I Trust Their Evaluation Process?

Do not trust an unlicensed salesperson to give you an accurate evaluation on your options. Most likely you will end up paying high fees up front only to hear bad news later. You should consult with a licensed professional, preferably an attorney, who has expertise specifically in back due tax issues.

Want to get a free consultation from one of our expert tax relief attorneys? Give us a call at (888) 515-4829 or fill out the contact form below and we will call you back.

Contact Us
Posted in Tax 10000, Tax Relief Companies | Tagged , | 7 Comments

How to Fill Out IRS Form 656 Offer In Compromise

Form 656: Filling It Out

This guide will explain how to fill out IRS Form 656, which is used to submit an Offer In Compromise to the Internal Revenue Service. This is part of our guide on How To Do Your Own Offer In Compromise. By using this form paired with the IRS Form 433-A(OIC), if you qualify for an Offer In Compromise you might be able to settle your tax debt for less than 1% of what you owe.  This covers Form 656 if filling it out for individual taxes. You can read our complete Offer In Compromise Guide to get an idea if you qualify and prepare it yourself if you want to.

We will go section by section to tell you what to fill out. This guide covers filling out an Offer In Compromise for individuals.

Updated 5/21/2017: Adjustments for 2017 IRS OIC Forms.

Updated 6/06/201: Adjustments for 2018 IRS OIC Forms.

Section 1: Basic Information

On top, check whether or not you used the IRS pre-qualifier tool. For most cases it is a good idea to before you start. It is not always right and sometimes you can still get an Offer In Compromise.

Individual Information

Fill out your name, SSN, physical address, and mailing address if different. Include your spouse’s name and SSN if the offer is for a joint tax debt.

Individual Tax Periods

Fill out all the periods you owe for and check the appropriate boxes. For most people it is going to be Form 1040. For payroll tax debts that are personally assessed against you that were from a corporation, LLC, or LLP, you will check and fill out the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty section. If you were a sole proprietorship with 941 Payroll or 940 Unemployment taxes, make sure to check the appropriate box. The last box “Other Federal Taxes” should contain any taxes not listed in the above taxes that are owed An example here could be the Heavy Highway Use Tax. If you owe more than one type of tax make sure to include them all.

If the year is almost over and you will owe on the current year, file your tax return as early as you can in the next year. Then file a settlement to include that year as well in the offer.  For example , if it is 12/01/2016, and you will owe on 2016 also, file your 206 Form 1040 by the end of January 2017. Get your 2016 tax return done and submitted before submitting your settlement.

You must keep up on your current taxes. This means adjusting your payroll withholding to the correct amount if a wage earner or making estimated tax payments if self employed. See our Estimated Tax Payments Guide for more information. The IRS has gotten more strict on this in 2016 and 2017.

Low Income Certification

Take a look at the chart and compare the figures listed with how many dependents you have. If you make $2,529 or less and are single or a couple with no other dependents making $3,429 or less and  living in the mainland 48 states, you do not need to pay a down payment with the Offer In Compromise or the $186 application fee. The full breakdown of what the qualifications are for a fee waiver are directly on the form. Ignore the two boxes regarding payments made below the low income certification check box. Do not make any payments if you are using low income certification. Keep it simple.

Make sure to add up all your dependents and do not use this option if you do not really qualify. The Offer may get rejected or they will send you another letter asking for the payments, and it just delays your Offer from processing quickly. If you get a letter stating you do not qualify for the fee waiver and you do in fact qualify, send a written response to the IRS by certified mail within 30 days of the letter’s date.

As of late 2017, we are seeing IRS ask for the payment and have not seen them outright reject it like they have before.

Section 2: Business Information

Skip this section if you are filing and individual offer in compromise, even if you run a self employed sole proprietorship. This section is only for Corporations, LLCs, and Partnerships, which we will cover in a separate guide. It is strongly recommended to get a tax attorney for business debts. We are tax attorneys in Las Vegas, but we can help you nationwide.

Section 3: Reason for Offer and Explanation

Reason for Offer

Select the reason for the offer, either “Doubt as to Collectability” or “Exceptional Circumstances (Effective Tax Administration).” Almost all Offers In Compromise will be for Doubt as to Collectability. This means you do not make enough money to pay back the tax debt within the IRS CSED date.

Exceptional Circumstances offers are rarely accepted. These offers are filed when you have enough assets or income to pay off the debt, but requiring you to pay it off would cause a hardship or is somehow unjust.

There is a third type of offer called a Doubt as to Liability offer. This guide does not cover that offer type. Those cases are typically more complex and getting an evaluation from a tax attorney is recommended.

Explanation of Circumstances

If you are filing a Doubt as to Collectability offer, you can simply state, “I am unable to pay the taxes due to my financial condition.” For Exceptional Circumstances offers, provide a detailed explanation of why it would be unjust for you to be held liable for the tax, even though you have sufficient assets to pay it off. If you have extraordinary costs coming up, taking care of older relatives that you cannot claim as dependents, or something similar. Explain any medical problems you, your spouse, or one of your dependents may have. Attach an additional page if more explanation is needed.

Section 4: How Much Are You Going To Pay and When?

Payment Terms

You have the choice of making a Lump Sum Cash offer or a Periodic Payment offer. Its strongly recommended to go with a Lump Sum Cash offer, unless you absolutely cannot afford the down payments. The Periodic Payment offer usually costs twice as much!

Lump Sum Cash Offer

If you select this option, check the appropriate box. Then write the total offer amount in the first box below that, then 20% of the total in the second box, then the remaining 80% in the third box of that row. The rest of the offer has to be paid within 5 months of acceptance. There is no point to use the first four months listed, just put the remaining 80% due next to the “payable within 5 months after acceptance” section at the bottom. If you get the Offer accepted, pay it off earlier than 5 months if you can.

If you qualified for a Low Income Certification as mentioned above, enter the total Offer amount in the first box, then zero (0) by the 20% down payment, and then the full offer amount in the third box in that row. Put the total offer amount next to the “payable within 5 months after acceptance” section at the bottom.

Periodic Payment Offer

You select this if you intend to pay the offer amount over 6-24 months. This required you to make payments while the settlement offer is pending. This is usually not recommended and the offer amounts are often substantially higher. Additionally, there are situational where the offer is not accepted, but you would have otherwise gotten Currently Non Collectable status, and you wasted money by paying on a Periodic Payment Offer.

If you qualify for Low Income Certification, you do not need to make any payments while the Offer is pending on a Periodic Payment Offer.

To do a Periodic Payment Offer, check the box for Periodic Payment Offer. In the next box, enter the amount of the entire offer. In the next area list the first Periodic Payment that is included with the offer, the amount to be paid each month, and the day of each month the payment will be sent. On the line below that, enter the total amount of months, the final payment amount and the day and number of month of that final payment.

Section 5: Designation of Payment and Deposit

Designation of Payment

In this section you can designate any offer down payments you submit to be applied to a tax period of your choosing should the offer not get submitted. The application fee does not get applied.


It is not recommended to send a deposit nor is it required. Why give the IRS more than you have to?

Making Payment For Application Fee and Down Payment

We recommend just writing out checks as opposed to doing the payments online when it comes to Offer In Compromise, which is covered below.


Section 6: Source of Funds, Making Your Payment, Filing Requirements, and Tax Payment Requirements

This section contains some significant changes from the earlier versions, as it now asks about filing requirements and estimated tax payments.

Source of Funds

Simply put where the money is coming from. Good answers include, but are not limited to: Loan from family member; Loan from friend; Bank account; Social Security; Wages earned.

Making Your Payment

This section just mentions the checks or money orders you need to send with your offer, if you do not qualify for a Low Income Certification. See above for Low Income Certification instructions.

Filing Requirements

In order for the IRS to consider accepting an Offer In Compromise, you must have all required tax returns filed. Check the box that you have filed all tax returns, if this is true, and if you were not required to file any tax returns, check the box also that states “I was not required to file tax returns for the following years:” and enter in the line below the years you were not required to file. Its safe to say the IRS is not looking for tax returns from the 1990s, and most likely has already filed a substitute return for anything from 2009 or before, so input any tax returns you were not required to file from 2009-2015 (this is as of June 21, 2016).

Pro Tip: Don’t always go back and file a bunch of old tax returns. If the IRS has done Substitute For Returns for you and you are in a financial hardship, there is a reason not to file if the filed return would also owe a balance. First, if you file these returns you open up the statute of limitations period for the IRS to collect on you for another 10 years. Second, if you end up with Currently Non Collectable status, but not qualifying for an Offer In Compromise, you would have gotten out of the debt sooner by just leaving it as is. Dealing with this can change case by case, and its recommended you consult with a tax lawyer if you are unsure. There are cases also where one owes nothing after the return is prepared, in those cases the returns should be filed.


Tax Payment Requirements

This has four check-boxes, and you should check all that apply:

  1. I have made all required estimated tax payments for the current tax year. (This means: are you current with estimated tax payments? If you made so little you were not required to make payments, make sure to check the second box. If you have not made estimated tax payments but are required to, see our Estimated Tax Payments Guide and get some in before you send your offer in.)
  2. I am not required to make any estimated tax payments for the current tax year. (If you are generally not required to make estimated tax payments, check this box. This includes almost all wage earners, Social Security recipients, and those living off of disability payments. If you are self-employed but made so little money you believe you are not required to make estimated tax payments, also check this box. )
  3. I have made all required federal tax deposits for the current quarter. (This box is referring to 940 and 941 taxes, and only applies to businesses and self employed persons who have employees. If you are one of these people, make sure to get current on your tax deposits before you submit your offer. For our clients who are behind on payroll taxes, we recommend they switch to an automatic, online service, and pay people weekly. We use Gusto (formerly Zenpayroll) and recommend it to our clients as its the easiest system out there and cheaper than most accountants.
  4. I am not required to make any federal tax deposits for the current quarter. (If you have no employees, check this.)

Pro Tip: Towards the end of 2016 and for 2017, the IRS has been much more strict on estimated tax payments being current in order for them to continue processing your settlement. They used to be more lax and let you catch up when you filed the return as long as you had some payments. If you are heading towards the end of the tax year and in no way can keep up, file your tax return early in January of the next year. Then keep up that year and file your OIC.

Section 7: Offer Terms

Read this section but nothing to fill out. The main point is the IRS takes refunds while the Offer In Compromise is pending and takes the refund of the tax year in which the offer is accepted.

How do you avoid the IRS taking these refunds? Don’t give them the money! Have your tax withholding set to where you do not overpay or underpay at the end of the year. Essentially refunds are from over-withholding taxes during the year, so set your paycheck or your estimated tax payments correctly and you won’t owe or get a refund. This might be a bit confusing to get just the right figure so you may want to ask your tax preparer or a tax lawyer. If you do owe on a new tax year within five years and have an accepted Offer In Compromise, make sure to pay that balance in full or you will default the settlement. Not filing your tax returns on time over the next five years can also default your settlement.

Section 8: Signatures

Sign, put in your phone number, and date. Have your spouse do the same if its a joint offer. Check the box so they can call you. If you have a tax attorney you do not need to check the call box. They will call your attorney instead.

Section 9: Paid Preparer Use

If you are self-preparing your Offer In Compromise leave this section alone. When we do it for you (or another tax professional), they put their information in there, sign, and date.

Two Checks

If you do not qualify for a Low Income Certification, then you need to include two checks with your IRS Offer In Compromise.

Check One – Application Fee

Write out a check for $186 to the “US Department of Treasury.” Write in the memo line of your check your Social Security Number (Primary if a joint offer) and “OIC Processing Fee.” The format for the memo line should be: “SSN 555-55-5555, OIC Processing Fee.” Make sure the check also has your name, address, and phone number. Add these to the memo line if it does not.

Check Two – Down Payment

Write out a check for 20% of your total offer amount to the “US Department of Treasury.” Put in the memo line “OIC Down Payment” and your Social Security Number. The format for the memo line should be: “SSN 555-55-5555, OIC Down Payment” Make sure the check also has your name, address, and phone number. Add these to the memo line if it does not.

Pro Tip: Use a paperclip to attach the two checks to the front of the Offer In Compromise documentation. The IRS has lost checks before and will do it again.


Make sure you pair this form with the IRS Form 433-A(OIC) and see our guide on filling out IRS Form 433-A(OIC). Add both forms together and see the rest of our Offer In Compromise guide to get everything ready to send out!


Don’t want to deal with the IRS, got better things to do with your time, or does this just seem all too confusing? Call us at (888) 515-4829, and have a free, no obligation consultation with one of our expert tax attorneys! You can also fill out our contact form at and well get back to you quickly!


Posted in IRS Forms, Offer In Compromise, Tax Attorney, Tax Lawyer | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Optima Tax Relief Review: Alan Thicke Recommends, but Should You Buy?

We get many calls from people that almost hired Optima Tax Relief, and we find that most people did not like what they heard from them. In this review we will go over the information we have learned about Optima Tax Relief’s fees and practices based on reviews placed on the internet (and those that have mysteriously been “not recommended” by Yelp), information clients have told us when they spoke to Optima first, and a former employee of Optima.

Optima Tax Relief Fees

The fees for Optima Tax Relief seem to range from $950 for a basic case review with no resolution, to upwards of $18,000. We have heard some people quoted a monthly rate of $450 with a $950 initial fee, and others have been quoted flat fees, typically in the range of $5,000. According to Laura K. on Yelp, she “Paid them $15,000.00, you read that right – and in two years they literally have not done much to assist, just pawn my case off to someone else, then someone else etc. ”

Our fees at TRP are much less, with us starting most cases for $375.

Why the huge fees from Optima? Most of it is probably due to advertising. If you hear it on the radio, you generally are paying more for it. Radio advertised companies have a very high customer acquisition cost. When you hear Alan Thicke recommend Optima Tax Relief, that endorsement cost is passed right onto your case fee.

Tax return preparation is also a high fee Optima charges. As with any tax relief firm, if you are quoted on tax preparation for your case before they have looked at the data, be sure you are being charged the highest rate for tax preparation and not actually based on the amount of schedules required to complete.

Why are the fees substantially lower from TRP? We do not have high customer acquisition costs and do not do radio advertising. Half of our business comes from referrals and half comes form internet searches.

Optima Tax Relief is Not a Law Firm

When you hire Optima, you are hiring a sales company with a revolving door when it comes to employees. Cases are constantly handed off from one representative to the other and people are constantly quitting. The people working at Optima have no personal obligation to complete your case. Should Optima Tax Relief have a bad financial year and shut down, the client is out of luck and their case could be incomplete. Recent tax relief firms that have closed include JK Harris, Nationwide Tax Relief, American Tax Relief, and many others, leaving their clients in the dust. Additionally, much, if not all of your communication with these “tax relief firms” is not covered by an attorney-client privilege.

When you hire a tax law firm like Tax Resolution Professionals, the firm cannot just close down and not finish your case. The attorneys assigned are obligated to complete your case from start to finish, regardless of how this month’s sales are. Most tax relief firms are running month to month financially, and could close at any time.

Optima Tax Relief Reviews

Optima has the appearance of good reviews, but once you click the “Not Reccomended Reviews” on Yelp one can see their true complaints. Yelp’s Not Reccomended Reviews are often some of the best reviews to see if a company is legitimate. It is thought by many that those who pay for Yelp advertising have one star reviews thrown into the not recommended category, if this is true, Optima is good proof of this. In Optima’s not recommended reviews, there are over 100 reviews of 1 star.

Here are some key complaints from former clients:

From Susan B., who felt Optima did nothing for her, “They reduced NO penalties, NO interest , my balance is higher, and I can’t get answers on how long I’m supposed to pay this exorbitant amount, and I’m out &5,000!I would NEVER recommend this company to anyone. They ruined my life. If I could give NO stars I would.”

From Jervey H., who found out from a lawyer he later hired, that Optima did not even work on his case, “Optima took us for a total of $18,500 before we finally fired them. Then we hired another lawyer that only charged us $2500 to go to the IRS and work out a payment. Optima refused to give us our money back. Even after the IRS told us that optima had never even contacted them, they wouldn’t.”

The list goes on and on of unhappy customers.

From a Former Employee

We spoke with a former employee of Optima, who had some OK things to say about it.  In this industry there are many tax relief companies that literally take your money and do nothing, so its refreshing to hear that Optima does actually work on your case. They said that Optima does have a high turnover and cases do get passed on to different people. This could explain some of the complaints where people felt their case was not worked on.

Optima is a boiler room sales scenario. High pressure salespeople take the consultation calls, not anyone licensed to actually help you. This usually leads to unhappy customers, as clients are promised one thing then delivered something else.

Better Off Hiring a Tax Law Firm

If you were thinking of hiring Optima Tax Relief, you are much better off hiring a qualified tax law firm and having a consultation with an actual tax attorney. The consultation and subsequent case is then covered by attorney client privilege and the law office can’t just close on you leaving you to deal with your own IRS or State tax case.

If you are only receiving Social Security, Disability, or otherwise have a fixed, low income with no assets, you may want to try doing an Offer in Compromise yourself. You can see our Offer in Compromise guide for help with this.

If you have a tax lien and already have paid off the debt or are in a payment plan for less than $25,000, please see our guide: How to Withdraw A Tax Lien.

Need help with your back due tax debt? Call (888) 515-4TAX (4829) or fill out our contact form at and you will have a free, no obligation consultation with one of our expert tax attorneys!

Posted in Offer In Compromise, Optima Tax Relief, Tax Attorney, Tax Lawyer, Tax Liens, Tax Resolution Reviews, Tax Returns | 21 Comments

Tax Lien on Credit Report? Use IRS Form 12277 To Withdraw an IRS Lien

This article covers how to withdraw an IRS lien. If you have active liens and debts that are still owed, you may want to see our Offer in Compromise Guide or call us for a free consultation with one of our tax attorneys at (888) 515-4TAX (4829).

Can I Withdraw An IRS Lien?

If you have paid your tax in full, or owe less than $25,000 and are in an IRS Fresh Start payment plan being paid by direct debit, you can submit an IRS Form 12227 to have the lien withdrawn from your credit report.

This is different than having shown as “released” because the withdrawn status means it is pulled completely from the record, as if it never existed and you never owed the debt. Released tax liens will show as a debt that was then satisfied.

Here we will go over IRS Form 12277 in detail so you can fill it out yourself and send it in.

First well go over filling out the form by section. We recommend filling it out in all CAPS so it is easier for the IRS to read.

  1. Taxpayer Name: Type in your full name the same as you put on your tax return.
  2. Social Security/Employer Identification No.: Put in your SSN or if applying for a business, its EIN.
  3. Taxpayer’s Representative: This should only be filled out by someone else you are paying to do it. If self filling, leave this blank.
  4. Address: Your street address and unit number/letter if applicable
  5. City: List your city
  6. State: List your state or its postal abbreviation.
  7. Zip Code: Your zip code.
  8. Phone Number: This is optional but you can input your phone number.
  9. Attach a copy of the Form 668(Y): If you can’t locate it do not worry about it, just fill in what info you do have if any. If you put nothing the IRS will look it up by SSN.
  10. Current status of the federal tax lien: Check Unknown if you are not sure. Most will show released if you paid it off or owe less than $25,000 and are in a Fresh Start Payment plan.
  11. Reason for requesting withdrawal: Select the option most applicable to you. If you paid it off or owe less than $25,000 and are in a Fresh Start Payment plan, check the last box that states its in the best interest of the taxpayer and the government.
  12. Explain the basis for the withdrawal request: State one of the following, whichever applies to your situation:

Then sign and date at the bottom of the form.

The second step is finding the right IRS Lien Office to send the request to. The easiest way to do that is call the IRS Lien Desk at (800) 913-6050. Tell the agent on the line you are trying to find the office to send your lien withdrawal request to. Ask for the address, phone number, and fax number of the office. You can then fax it or certify mail it to them. I prefer certified mail since you know for sure it got there. With fax, if it shows up as sent on your end it does not always mean it worked fine on their end.

In about two months the liens should show as withdrawn on your credit report.

Need tax help? Give us a call at (888) 515-4829 or fill out our contact form at and have a free 15 minute consultation with an experienced tax attorney!




Posted in IRS Forms, Tax Attorney, Tax Lawyer, Tax Liens | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

How to Make Estimated Tax Payments

This guide covers making estimated taxes for individuals.

In order to make IRS estimated tax payments, you can pay online or pay by mail by check. It is strongly recommended that you pay online and pay estimated tax payments on a monthly basis while you are in an Offer In Compromise, so the IRS does not accidentally apply the payment to back due tax debts.

The reason to pay monthly during an Offer in Compromise is that it keeps your average bank account balance at a lower figure, its easier to keep up with the payments, and it looks good to the IRS Offer In Compromise examining officer that you are well caught up when they review your case. If you do not pay monthly, then you should at least pay estimated tax payments on a quarterly basis.

Here is how the payments can be made:

Make Estimated Tax Payments Online

To make estimated tax payments online:

  1. Go to the IRS Direct Pay website
  2. Click Make a Payment
  3. Select 1040 ES and the form will auto complete with “Estimated Tax” and the current tax year
  4. Click Continue, verify your identity, and make a payment

Make Estimated Tax Payments by Check

To make estimated tax payments by check:

  1. Fill out a 1040ES Estimated Payment Form for the current tax year or use the ones that are on your last year’s tax return. Make sure they reflect the current year that you are making the estimated tax payment for.
  2. Add to the check memo line your SSN and “1040 EST Payment”
  3. Mail to the IRS payment address listed on the 1040ES Estimated Payment form listed above.

It is strongly recommended to make payments online. The IRS has lost checks for people many times, even ones that were sent certified mail.

Posted in Estimated Taxes, IRS Payments, Offer In Compromise | Tagged | 7 Comments

911 Tax Relief Reviews and Complaints: Are they legitimate?

We are always taking a look at our competitors and always surprised how awful some of the companies are. The industry of “Tax Relief” is plagued by many high pressure boiler room sales companies that really have no interest in getting you the best result and are more interested in just taking your money. After further review, we believe 911 Tax Relief to be one of the more unreliable companies.

First see this review form a former employee:

Based on this review the company was formerly named Pinnacle Tax and Authority Tax Services. This is generally a bad sign when the companies keep changing names. It usually means people left terrible reviews and they have to start over again.  This is very similar to Tax Defense Partners changing its name from Tax Resolution Services.

The second indicator this is not a good company is the low Yelp rating found here:

When you look at the owner’s responses, he keeps “relying on the contract” which usually means it was bad contract to begin with. Many tax relief firms try to package and sell you one service, then if that does not work out they try to sell you another. Most legitimate law firms like Tax Resolution Professionals resolve your case until its done, whatever the best result may be.

Pigeonholing you into one service on the contract is a bad sign. If you get a tax relief contract and it says it only covers Offer in Compromise or only covers a payment plan is a bad sign. The cases are complex and until you go over everything in extreme detail you cannot figure out the service you need.

Another bad sign is the owner is not an attorney. In the complaint the owner is listed as Vardan Sarkisov. A search of the California Bar website shows no attorney by that name.

Overall, 911 Tax Relief would be a service that is not recommended.

Need help from a legitimate, highly rated, expert tax attorneys? Call (888) 515-4829 and get excellent help today!

Posted in Tax Attorney, Tax Resolution Reviews | Tagged | 11 Comments

Tax Help For Veterans

A lot of veterans end up having  a tax issue for various reasons: cancellation of debt, cashing out retirement accounts, being self employed, and a host of other reasons.

If you are a veteran, collecting a retirement or disability check will be calculated often as more available income you have to pay off the IRS. However, if you are only collecting disability or retirement, often that is low enough that you can get a settlement in the form of an Offer In Compromise.

These are the options you have:

  1. If you owe under $50,000, you can spread out the amount due over 72 months into monthly payments with a lien.
  2. If you owe over $50,000, the IRS is going to require a financial statement and most likely will file a lien against you.
  3. No matter how much you owe, you might qualify for an Offer In Compromise to settle the whole debt for a lot less. This is always the preferred option.

The IRS reserves the right to file a lien while an Offer In Compromise is pending, although most the time they do not.

If you are collecting veterans’ disability benefits and nothing else, most of the time you will qualify for an Offer In Compromise. You can see our Offer In Compromise Guide here if you wish to self prepare it.

If you need help with your tax debt, call us for a free, no obligation consultation with a licensed tax attorney at (888) 515-4829 or fill out the contact form on and a tax attorney will call you back!

Posted in Offer In Compromise, Tax Attorney | Tagged , , | 6 Comments