In recent years, the literature on taxation and risk taking has focused on the argument that the distortions and incidence of capital income taxes are associated with the tax on the risk-free rate of return, and that the taxation of excess returns to risk taking may be of less economic consequence that had been thought. I review this argument and its underlying assumptions in detail and discuss the implications of different violations of the assumptions in the context of a variety of recent tax policy issues where the impact of taxation on risk and risk taking is of central importance to the analysis.

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