The Income-tax Act provides for a special status to a Hindu Undivided Family and it is assessed to income-tax as a separate unit of assessment. The act has not defined the concept of Hindu undivided family. For this purpose we have to depend upon Hindu law.
Generally speaking, the concept of Hindu Undivided Family means a group of persons lineally descendent from a common ancestor and- includes their wives and unmarried daughters. It comes into existence due to a certain relationship and it cannot come into existence by an agreement among strangers.
To claim the status of Hindu Undivided Family, a family must satisfy the following two conditions
1. Existence of common property in the family. The common property may consist of ancestral property inherited from a male ancestor, property acquired with the aid of ancestral property and property acquired by an individual from his own sources but put into common pool of Hindu Undivided Family.
2. Existence of Hindu Coparcenary. When there is a person who can claim share in the property of Hindu Undivided Family on partition, he is known as Coparcener.