A Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) is a kind of an entity that could be a launching pad to the entrepreneur who wishes to have a smoother foray into the world of business, thanks to the tax benefits and lesser compliance requirements.
HUF is a unique type of legal entity which derives its roots from Hindu Law. HUF is an entity as a family, which consists of male lineally descended from a common ancestor. The members of the family would also include their spouses and unmarried daughters. Given the nature of the entity, the relation of HUF's arises from status and not legal contracts. This article seeks to guide the aspiring entrepreneur on the formation of a HUF.
An HUF is a separate entity from a legal point of view. Here, individual members of the family have PAN cards, and the HUF has its separate PAN card. An HUF can run its own business to generate income. It can also invest in shares and Mutual Funds. And being a separate entity, the HUF enjoys a basic tax exemption of Rs 2.5 lakh. So, imagine that you create an HUF consisting of you, your spouse and two children. In addition to income tax benefits you enjoy individually, you can also avail of an additional basic income tax exemption of Rs 2.5 lakh each year.
Under current income tax laws, if you own more than one self-occupied property, only one of them can be claimed as a self-occupied property. The rest are ‘deemed to be let out’ and you have to pay tax on notional rent. However, an HUF can own a residential house without having to pay tax. In addition, it can also avail of a Home Loan to purchase a residential property and get tax benefits up to Rs 1.5 lakh under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act for loan repayment and up to Rs 2 lakh for interest thereon.
Provisions of the Income Tax Act allow individuals to claim tax benefits on certain payments they make during a year. Similar benefits are applicable for an HUF. For example, an HUF can pay Life Insurance premium for individual members, and claim tax benefits under Section 80C. The maximum amount that can be claimed as a deduction under this section is Rs 1.5 lakh.
An HUF is allowed to make investments in tax-saving Fixed Deposits and Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS) to earn tax benefits of up to Rs 1.5 lakh under Section 80C. And while an HUF cannot open a Public Provident Fund (PPF) in its name, it can claim tax deductions for the amount deposited by the HUF in respective PPF accounts of its members.
You can claim a deduction of Rs 25,000 per year on premiums paid for Health Insurance for your family under Section 80D. However, with the rise in Health Insurance premiums, this limit can be insufficient when you want to provide decent health coverage for your family. Here’s where HUF can come to your rescue. You can claim additional tax benefit of up to Rs 25,000 on Health Insurance premiums paid during the year for family members of the HUF. If the person is a senior citizen, the limit goes up to Rs 50,000.
HUF is a creation of law and cannot be created by the act of parties, therefore, HUF cannot be created for the first time by a gift from the stranger. If HUF already exists, gift can be made by a stranger to such HUF.
The gifted property will be HUF property if the gift is made to HUF.
Intention of donor & the character of the gifted property will depend on the construction of the gift deed.
6500+ GST 18%
7500+ GST 18%
Q.What is the meaning of Hindu Undivided Family?
A. Hindu Undivided Family ("HUF") which is same as joint Hindu family is a body consisting of persons lineally descendant from a common ancestor, including their wives and unmarried daughters, who are staying together jointly; joint in food, estate and worship. The daughter, on her marriage, ceases to be a member of her father's HUF and becomes a member of her husband's HUF.
Q.What are the advantages of HUF under Tax Laws?
A.The Income-tax Act, 1961 as well as Wealth-tax Act, 1957 recognise HUF as an independent assessable or taxable entity. This is done by specifically including "Hindu Undivided Family" in the definition of "person", in section 2(31) of the Income-tax Act. As such, the income earned by such HUF will enjoy all exemptions and deductions; including the basic exemption from income-tax, so far as applicable.
Q. What is a Hindu Coparcenary? In what ways is it different from a HUF?
A. A Hindu Coparcenary is a much narrower body within Hindu Undivided Family. Generally speaking, it is a body of individuals who acquires interest by birth in the joint family property. They are the son, grandson and great grandson of the holder of the joint property for the time being. The coparcenary, therefore, consists of a common male ancestor and his lineal descendants in the male line within 4 degrees, running from and including such ancestor. No coparcenary can commence without a common male ancestor though, after his death, it may consist of collaterals such as brothers, uncles, nephews etc. The essence of coparcenary is community of interest and unity of possession.
Q.Which are the states in which HUF is not recognized?
A.Kerala is the State in which the HUF is not recognized. This is done by Kerala Joint Family System (Abolition) Act, 1975 with effect from 01.12.1976.
Q. What is the difference between a co-parcener and a member?
A. A HUF, as such, can consist of a very large number of members including female members as well as distant blood relatives in the male line. However, out of this, coparceners are only those males who are within 4 degrees in lineal descendent from the common male ancestor. The relevance of concept of coparcenary is that only coparceners can ask for partition. The other male family members; i.e, other than coparceners in a HUF, have no direct claim over HUF property, but can claim only through the coparceners.
Q. How a HUF can be created? Who can be members of a HUF?
A.HUF is a creature of law. It cannot be "created" by act of parties, except in rare cases of adoption and reunion. Birth of a son in a Hindu joint family automatically makes him a member of the HUF. In view of this, all male members automatically become members of the HUF. In addition to that, if a child is adopted, then he also becomes a member of the HUF. Similarly, in case of reunion of erstwhile HUF family members, such reunited members become members of the reunited HUF. Moreover, upon marriage, wife becomes a member of her husband's joint family.