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Complexities exist within every payment system—for ACH payments, return codes are one of those potentially complex items. An ACH return is a credit or debit entry that does not go as intended. When this happens, a return code is issued that specifies the reason for the return. 

For further explanation of the ACH Network, check our ebook ACH 101: Connecting your Business to the U.S. Economy.

Go Further: ACH Returns Process

Common ACH Return Codes

An ACH return code can happen for a variety of reasons, but some common codes are R01, R02, R03, R04, R10, and R20.

A few industry best practices for being proactive against an ACH return would be:

  • Ensure that your customer’s or user’s routing and account number is entered correctly before confirming entry. It’s easy to miss a digit or type something incorrectly when you’re hurrying to pay a bill, so it’s critical they slow down and pay attention to detail.
  • If a prepaid checking account is involved, check that the bank allows for receiving ACH credits and debits. Per the R20 code, not all payment accounts can be used for ACH transactions so it’d be beneficial to confirm this isn’t the case.
  • Confirm that funds have cleared the respective bank account and are available before using those funds in subsequent transactions.

Here’s a list of ACH return codes, with summaries based on the Nacha Operating Rules.

R01 Return Code –  Insufficient Funds

The available and/or cash reserve balance is not sufficient to cover the dollar value of the debit entry. 

R02 Return Code – Account Closed

A previously active account has been closed by action of the customer or the RDFI. 

R03 Return Code  –  No Account or Unable to Locate Account

The account number structure is valid and it passes the check digit validation, but the account number does not correspond to the individual identified in the entry, or the account number designated is not an existing account.

R04 Return Code – Invalid Account Number

The account number structure is not valid. 

R05 – Unauthorized Debit to Consumer Account Using Corporate SEC Code

CCD or CTX debit entry was transmitted to a consumer account of the receiver and was not authorized by the receiver. 

R06 – Returned Per ODFI’s Request

The OFDI has requested that the RDFI return an erroneous entry or a credit entry that originated without the authorization of the originator. 

R07 – Authorization Revoked by Customer

The RDFI’s customer (the receiver) revoked authorization previously provided to the originator for this debit entry.

R08 – Payment Stopped

The receiver has placed a stop payment order on this debit entry.

R09 – Uncollected Funds

A sufficient ledger balance exists to satisfy the dollar value of the transaction, but the available balance is below the dollar value of the debit entry.

R10 Return Code – Customer Advises Originator is Not Known to Receiver and/or Originator is Not Authorized By Receiver to Debit Receiver’s Account

The RDFI has been notified by the receiver that the receiver does not know the identity of the originator or has not authorized the originator to debit this account.

R11 – Customer Advises Entry Was Not in Accordance With the Terms of the Authorization 

The RDFI has been notified by the receiver that the originator and receiver have a relationship and an authorization to debit exists but there is an error or defect in the payment, such that the entry does not conform to the terms of the authorization (for example, the entry is for an amount different than authorized). 

R12 – Account Sold to Another DFI

A financial institution received an entry to an account that was sold to another financial institution.

R13 – Invalid ACH Routing Number

Entry contains a receiving DFI Identification or Gateway Identification that is not a valid ACH routing number.

R14 – Representative Payee Deceased or Unable to Continue in That Capacity

The representative payee is either deceased or unable to continue in that capacity. The beneficiary is not deceased. 

R15 – Beneficiary or Account Holder (Other Than the a Representative Payee) Deceased

The beneficiary is deceased or the account holder is deceased. 

R16 – Account Frozen/Entry Returned Per OFAC Instruction

Access to the account is restricted due to specific action taken by the RDFI or by legal action; or OFAC has instructed the RDFI or Gateway to return the entry. 

R17 – File Record Edit Criteria/Entry With Invalid Account Number Initiated Under Questionable Circumstances/Return of Improperly-Initiated Reversal

(1) Fields cannot be processed by RDFI; (2) the entry contains an invalid DFI Account Number (account closed/no account/unable to locate account/invalid account number) and is believed by the RDFI to have been initiated under questionable circumstances or (3) either the RDFI or receiver has identified a reversing entry as one that was improperly initiated by the originator or ODFI.

R18 – Improperly Effective Entry Date

The effective entry date for a credit entry is more than two banking days after the banking day of processing as established by the originating ACH operator; or (2) the effective entry date for a debit entry is more than one banking day after the processing date. 

R19 – Amount Field Error

Amount field is non-numeric, zero or exceeding $25,000.

R20 – Non-transaction account

The ACH entry is destined for a non-transaction account. 

R21 – Invalid Company Identification

The company identification information is not valid.

R22 – Invalid Individual ID Number

The receiver has indicated to the RDFI that the number with which the originator was identified is not correct. 

R23 – Credit Entry Refused By Receiver

Any credit entry that is refused by the receiver may be returned by the RDFI.

R24 – Duplicate Entry

The RDFI has received what appears to be a duplicate entry; i.e. the trace number, date, dollar amount and/or other data matches another transaction.

R25 – Addenda Error

Addenda record indicator value is incorrect, with code invalid, out of sequence,  or missing.

R26 – Mandatory Field Error

Erroneous data or missing data in a mandatory field.

R27 – Trace Number Error

Original entry trace number is not present in the addenda record on a return or notification of change entry; or trace number of an addenda record is not the same as the trace number of the preceding entry detail record.

R28 – Routing Number Check Digit Error

The check digit for the routing number is invalid. 

R29 – Corporate Customer Advises Not Authorized

The RDFI has been notified by the receiver (non-consumer) that a specific transaction has not been authorized by the receiver.

R30 – RDFI Not Participant in Check Truncation Program

The RDFI does not participate in a check truncation program.

R31 – Permissible Return Entry (CCD and CTX Only)

The RDFI may return a CCD or CTX entry that the ODFI agrees to accept.

R32 – RDFI Non-Settlement

The RDFI is not able to settle the entry.

R33 – Return of XCK Entry

Only to be used to return XCK entries and is at the RDFI’s sole discretion.

R34 – Limited Participation DFI

The RDFI participation has been limited by a federal or state supervisor.

R35 – Return of Improper Debit Entry

Debit entries (with the exception of reversing entries) are not permitted for use with ARC, BOC, POP, RCK, TEL and XCK.

R36 – Return of Improper Credit Entry

ACH credit entries (with the exception of reversing entries) are not permitted for use with ARC, BOC, POP, RCK, TEL and XCK.

R37 – Source Document Presented For Payment

The source document to which an ARC, BOX or POP entry relates has been presented for payment.

The following return codes are less common in our network, but we’ve included them for reference.

R38 – Stop payment on source document.

R39 – Improper source document/source document presented for payment.

R40 – Return of ENR entry by federal government agency.

R41 – Invalid transaction code.

R42 – Routing number/check digit error.

R43 – Invalid DFI account number.

R44 – Invalid individual ID number/identification number.

R45 – Invalid individual name/company name.

R46 – Invalid representative payee indicator.

R47 – Duplicate enrollment.

R50 – State law affecting RCK acceptance.

R51 – Item related to RCK entry is ineligible or RCK entry is improper.

R52 – Stop payment on item related to RCK entry.

R53 – Item and RCK entry presented for payment.

R61 – Misrouted return.

R62 – Return of erroneous or reversing debt.

R67 – Duplicate return.

R68 – Untimely return.

R69 – Field error(s).

R70 – Permissible return entry not accepted/return not requested by ODFI.

R71 – Misrouted dishonored return.

R72 – Untimely dishonored return.

R73 – Timely original return.

R74 – Corrected return.

R75 – Return not duplicate.

R76 – No errors found.

R77 – Non-acceptance of R62 dishonored return.

R80 – IAT entry coding errors.

R81 – Non-participant in IAT program.

Below are international ACH return codes for reference. Please note, these would not be applicable to a Dwolla transaction.

R82 – Invalid foreign receiving DFI identification.

R83 – Foreign receiving DFI unable to settle.

R84 – Entry not processed by gateway.

R85 – Incorrectly coded outbound international payment.

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