Taxation on Morals

Alex J. Fulop

Final Draft


This paper discusses five (5) tax topics and their relationship to the government attempting to influence taxpayer behavior. These topics include the charitable contribution deduction, excise taxes, §179 deductions, the first-time homebuyer credit, and soil, water, and endangered species conservation expense deductions. The above aspects of tax law are the government’s way of encouraging some behaviors and discouraging others. I believe that doing so is well within the government’s rights to do. However, I also think that encouraging moral actions is different from requiring them, and they certainly should not be required.