I understand SE policy is that whenever someone asks a question with a new tag, the tag is automatically created. But is there a way to incorporate a tag without asking a needless question?
There is no way to create a tag without attaching it to a question. It doesn't have to be a new question, but creating a tag in a vacuum isn't an option.
There's little point in having orphaned tags around and we already take steps to clean up tags without questions associated with them.