Ab initio calculations using the 6-311G**, cc-pVDZ, and (valence) double-ζ pseudopotential (DZP) basis sets, with (MP2, QCISD, CCSD(T)) and without (HF) the inclusion of electron correlation, and density functional (BHandHLYP, B3LYP) calculations predict that the transition states for the reaction of acetyl radical with several alkyl halides adopt an almost collinear arrangement of attacking and leaving radicals at the halogen atom. Energy barriers (ΔE‡) for these halogen transfer reactions of between 89.2 (chlorine transfer from methyl group) and 25.3 kJ mol-1 (iodine transfer from tert-butyl group) are calculated at the BHandHLYP/DZP level of theory. While the difference in forward and reverse energy barriers for iodine transfer to acetyl radical is predicted to be 15.1 kJ mol-1 for primary alkyl iodide, these values are calculated to be 6.7 and -4.2 kJ mol-1 for secondary and tertiary alkyl iodide respectively. These data are in good agreement with available experimental data in that atom transfer radical carbonylation reactions are sluggish with primary alkyl iodides, but proceed smoothly with secondary and tertiary alkyl iodides. These calculations also predict that bromine transfer reactions involving acyl radical are also feasible at moderately high temperature.