If you have a genuine InDesign Tagged Text file, when you choose File > Place, click Show Import Options.
If you're new to working with InDesign Tagged Text, I strongly recommend getting a copy of Real World InDesign (Blatner & Kvern) who include a good section on it in the Text chapter.
I've never used Tagged Text, so I can't give you any further help.
ID isn't going to interpret random tags, only the ones defined for tagged text, during the place operation. I'm sure, however, that finding the tags and applying the various styles, then removing the tags could be accomplished by script after the text has been placed. You should ask over in scripting.
Thank you for the suggestion to go to scripting. After describing theproblem, Peter Kahrel wrote a script that works perfectly!
John Hawkinson wrote:
For reference SuzeiQ's thread in the scripting forum is here: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/908213.
Though I think it really wasn't a scripting question :-).
Also, Peter, post your script!
I presume that last was directed to Mr. Kahrel...