The Finance Ministry stated that during 2022-23, over 8.75 lakh Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs) filed income tax returns (ITRs) and claimed deductions worth Rs. 3,803 crore.
In a response to the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Finance, Pankaj Chaudhary, provided details about the number of HUFs availing tax benefits under Chapter VIA of the Income-tax Act over the past five years. Upon being asked about the government’s assessment of the Uniform Civil Code’s impact on tax benefits for HUFs, the minister replied that no such assessment had been conducted since there is no Uniform Civil Code in place at present.
Currently, there is a debate regarding the status of HUFs following the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code, with the Law Commission seeking public comments on the matter.
As per Hindu Law, a HUF constitutes a family that includes all linear descendants of a common ancestor, including wives and unmarried daughters. This provision also applies to Jain and Sikh families. Under the Income Tax Act, HUFs are considered a ‘legal person’ and are entitled to all tax deductions under Chapter VI-A. They are taxed at the same rate as individuals and can claim applicable deductions.
In the fiscal year 2022-23, a total of 8,75,948 HUFs claimed deductions worth Rs. 3,802.86 crore, while in the previous year 2021-22, 8,77,303 HUFs claimed deductions amounting to Rs. 3,745.51 crore.