Hindu Undivided Famaly (HUF) has been treated as a separate entity for the purpose of Assessment as per the provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961. HUF is not defined in the Act but it is included in the definition of the term Person under Section 2(31). But the expression defined in the Hindu Law as a family, which consists of all males linearly descended from a common ancestor and includes their wives and unmarried daughters.
It is not a contract but it is a status, where Hindu born then he is considered as a member of HUF. A male member remained as a member of the HUF until he divides from the family. After the partition he ceased to be a member of only one family, usually he will be the member of another small family. Even for female member, she will be member of the family until unless she gets married. After the marriage she will be member of her husband’s family.
A Jain Undivided Family would be assessed as a HUF, as they are also governed by the laws of Hindus. In India there are two types Hindu Laws working on.
This is followed in entire India except West Bengal and Assam States. As per the Mithakshara Law the inheritance is by birth. One acquires the right to the Family Property by birth and not by succession irrespective of the fact that his elders are living.
Dayabagha Law prevails in the West Bengal and Assam States in India. Here no one acquire the right or share in Family Property by birth only by the death of the head of the family. As long as the head of the family live no one gets the right.