i collect disability, i cannot work at all, my husband works do we have to file jointly? do i have to declare my disability?
That depends upon the source of the disability income.
If you are collecting Social Security Disability, up to 85% of it may be taxable if 1/2 of your disability + all other income is more than $32,000 if you file a joint return.
If you file separate returns and you lived with your spouse for even one day during the tax year, 85% of your SSDI is automatically taxable.
If you are collecting disability from a private insurance policy then it depends upon who paid the premiums and if you did, whether they were paid with tax paid or pre tax dollars. If you paid the premiums with tax paid dollars, all benefits are fully tax free. If you paid the premiums with pre-tax dollars or your employer paid them for you, all benefits are fully taxable to you. If you shared the cost with your employer and paid your share with tax paid dollars, the benefits are taxable in the same proportion as the premiums were paid by your employer.
If you are collecting state disability benefits that were paid for with a tax deducted from your pay -- such as CA SDI -- the benefits are tax free to you.
You are never required to file a joint return however you generally will pay the least total tax by filing joint returns.