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ACH Return Codes

ACH return codes identify the reason an ACH payment was returned by the recipient's bank. They make it easier for originating and receiving financial institutions to spot and communicate payment failures.

Each code begins with 'R' followed by a two digit number. For example, 'R04' indicates that an invalid account number was provided. In response, the ACH network returns a payment to the originating party if it fails to complete the request. Payments returned in this way are typically referred to as ACH Returns. ACH return codes are standardized and maintained by NACHA, the governing body for the ACH network.

How do ACH Return Codes work in practice?

NACHA prescribes separate rules for handling each return code since each one represents a unique scenario. ODFIs (Originating Depository Financial Institutions) and RDFIs (Receiving Depository Financial Institutions) are responsible for handling ACH return codes according to these rules.

For example, let’s say a consumer's account is debited for a streaming service subscription without their authorization. In that scenario, the consumer's bank has up to 60 days after the payment has settled to return the payment to the company's bank with the ACH return code R05.

Now, let’s take a different example. Let's say the consumer has provided the streaming service with debit authorization but doesn't have enough funds in their account to cover the transaction. In this case, their bank has up to 2 days after settlement to return the payment to the streaming service with the code R02. Failure to do so within 2 days will make the consumer's bank liable for the funds.

ACH Return codes are constantly evolving, with NACHA clarifying and updating existing codes and adding new ones on a regular basis. At the time of writing, the most recent update involved repurposing the return code, R11. Now, R11 will be used when there's an error with a received payment. In this case, the error would be reported by someone who has received a payment for an incorrect amount of money or received a payment on the wrong date.

ACH Return Codes

There are currently 85 distinct ACH return codes. The most common of which are:

CodeTitleAccount TypeTime Frame
R01Insufficient FundsConsumer or Non-Consumer2 Banking Days
R02Account ClosedConsumer or Non-Consumer2 Banking Days
R03No Account / Unable to Locate AccountConsumer or Non-Consumer2 Banking Days
R04Invalid Account Number StructureConsumer or Non-Consumer2 Banking Days
R05Unauthorized Consumer Debit using Corporate SEC CodeConsumer60 Calendar Days
R06ODFI Requested ReturnConsumer or Non-ConsumerUndefined
R07Customer Revoked AuthorizationConsumer60 Calendar Days
R08Payment StoppedConsumer or Non-Consumer2 Banking Days
R09Uncollected FundsConsumer or Non-Consumer2 Banking Days
R10Originator not known and/or not authorized to Debit Receiver’s AccountConsumer; Non-Consumer for ARC, BOC, IAT, or POP.60 Calendar Days

The other return codes, which are less common, include:

CodeTitleAccount TypeTime Frame
R11Customer advises not within Authorization TermsConsumer; Non-Consumer for ARC, BOC, POP, and IAT60 Calendar Days
R12Account Sold to Another DFIConsumer or Non-Consumer2 Banking Days
R13Invalid ACH Routing No. Consumer or Non-ConsumerNext File Delivery Time Following Processing
R14Representative Payee Deceased Consumer or Non-Consumer2 Banking Days
R15Beneficiary / Account Holder Deceased Consumer2 Banking Days
R16Account Frozen / Returned per OFAC Consumer or Non-Consumer2 Banking Days
R17File Record Edit Criteria / Suspicious Entry with Invalid Account No. / Return of Improperly-Initiated Reversal Consumer or Non-Consumer2 Banking Days
R18Improper Effective Date Consumer or Non-ConsumerNext File Delivery Time Following Processing
R19Amount Field Error Consumer or Non-ConsumerNext File Delivery Time Following Processing
R20Non-Transaction Account Consumer or Non-Consumer2 Banking Days
R21Invalid Company ID Non-Consumer2 Banking Days
R22Invalid Individual ID Consumer or Non-Consumer2 Banking Days
R23Receiver Refused Credit Consumer or Non-ConsumerRDFI must transmit Return upon receipt of Refusal
R24Duplicate Entry Consumer or Non-Consumer2 Banking Days
R25Addenda Error Consumer or Non-ConsumerNext File Delivery Time Following Processing
R26Mandatory Field Error Consumer or Non-ConsumerNext File Delivery Time Following Processing
R27Trace Number Error Consumer or Non-ConsumerNext File Delivery Time Following Processing
R28Routing No. Check Digit Error Consumer or Non-ConsumerNext File Delivery Time Following ProcessingNext File Delivery Time Following Processing
R29Not Authorized by Corporate Customer Non-Consumer2 Banking Days
R30RDFI not in Check Truncation Program Consumer or Non-ConsumerNext File Delivery Time Following Processing
R31Permissible Return (CCD and CTX only) Non-ConsumerUndefined
R32RDFI Non-Settlement Consumer or Non-ConsumerNext File Delivery Time Following Processing
R33Return of XCK Consumer or Non-Consumer60 Calendar Days
R34Limited Participation DFI Consumer or Non-ConsumerNext File Delivery Time Following Processing
R35Improper Debit Consumer or Non-ConsumerNext File Delivery Time Following Processing
R36Improper Credit Consumer or Non-ConsumerNext File Delivery Time Following Processing
R37Source Document Presented Consumer or Non-Consumer60 Calendar Days
R38Stop Payment on Source Document Consumer or Non-Consumer60 Calendar Days
R39Improper Source Document Consumer or Non-Consumer2 Banking Days
R40Return of ENR
R41Invalid Transaction Code N/AN/A
R42Routing No. / Check Digit Error N/AN/A
R43Invalid DFI Account No. N/AN/A
R44Invalid Individual ID No. N/AN/A
R45Invalid Individual / Company Name N/AN/A
R46Invalid Representative Payee Indicator N/AN/A
R47Duplicate Enrollment N/AN/A
R50State Law Affecting RCK Acceptance N/AN/A
R51Ineligible / Improper Item Related to RCK
R52Stop Payment on Item Related to RCK Consumer2 Banking Days
R53Item and RCK Presented for Payment Consumer60 Calendar Days
R61Misrouted Return Consumer60 Calendar Days
R62Erroneous / Reversing Debit Consumer60 Calendar Days
R67Duplicate Return
R68Untimely Return Consumer or Non-ConsumerODFI must transmit Return within 5 Bnkg. Days
R69Field Error Consumer or Non-ConsumerODFI must transmit Return within 5 Bnkg. Days
R70Permissible Return Not Accepted / Not Requested by ODFI Consumer or Non-ConsumerODFI must transmit Return within 5 Bnkg. Days
R71Misrouted Dishonored Return Consumer or Non-ConsumerODFI must transmit Return within 5 Bnkg. Days
R72Untimely Dishonored Return Consumer or Non-ConsumerODFI must transmit Return within 5 Bnkg. Days
R73Timely Original Return Consumer or Non-ConsumerODFI must transmit Return within 5 Bnkg. Days
R74Corrected Return
R75Return Not Duplicate Consumer or Non-ConsumerODFI must transmit Return within 5 Bnkg. Days
R76No Errors Found Consumer or Non-ConsumerContested Return must be transmitted within 2 Bnkg. Days
R77Non-Acceptance of R62 Consumer or Non-ConsumerContested Return must be transmitted within 2 Bnkg. Days
R80IAT Coding Error Consumer or Non-ConsumerContested Return must be transmitted within 2 Bnkg. Days
R81Non-Participant in IAT Program Consumer or Non-ConsumerContested Return must be transmitted within 2 Bnkg. Days
R82Invalid Foreign RDFI Identification Consumer or Non-ConsumerContested Return must be transmitted within 2 Bnkg. Days
R83Foreign RDFI Unable to Settle Consumer or Non-ConsumerContested Return must be transmitted within 2 Bnkg. Days
R84Not Processed by Gateway
R85Incorrectly Coded Outbound Int’l Payment Consumer or Non-Consumer2 Banking Days

This list will be continually updated as NACHA updates their operating rules.

Modern Treasury makes it really easy to initiate a return with the appropriate return code and automates linking the return to the original payment. Learn how to return a payment using our API with this guide.

ACH

ACH (Automated Clearing House) is a payment processing network that’s used to send money electronically between banks in the United States.

  1. 1ACH API
  2. 2What is ACH?
  3. 3What is an ACH Prenote?
  4. 4ACH Reversals
  5. 5ACH Return Codes
  6. 6ACH Payment Returns
  7. 7SEC Codes
  8. 8What is Same-Day ACH?
  9. 9ACH Notification of Change (NOC)
  10. 10FedACH
  11. 11ACH Credit
  12. 12ACH Debit