CONGRATULATIONS are in order for Tara Lipinski, the...

Noted in brief

February 22, 1997

CONGRATULATIONS are in order for Tara Lipinski, the 74-pound jumping machine who, at the age of 14, became the youngest U.S. ladies' figure skating champion in history in Nashville last weekend.

This is good for the industry, uh, sport, guaranteeing another generation of little girls bugging their mothers for costly skates and costlier lessons.

But it was tears for the favorite, Michelle Kwan, the womanly defending U.S. champion, who took a tumble and then another. The pressure that she, too, had once been too young to feel, hit her in maturity.

She is 16.

Ms. Kwan came in second, and as a result will defend her world championship next month in Lausanne, Switzerland.

There was solace for age. Nicole Bobek, the fading 1995 champion, made a fighting comeback for third place and her own shot at the Worlds.

She is the grand old lady at 19.

There is one thing about Tara Lipinski that other competitors must hate. She made it look like fun. But she'll grow up and know better.

THE INTERNAL Revenue Service audited the instruction from this corner yesterday ("Secure tax forms" editorial) on getting exotic income-tax publications to the form-starved without subjecting them to metal detectors and identification with photo, and found it insufficiently informative.

The IRS has ways, high tech and New Age ways.

The tax-form-deprived, providing they know specifically what they want, may phone 1-800-TAX-FORM and request the income-tax forms and publications, which will arrive by mail within five days.

In any public library, a tax form reproducible kit may be consulted in conjunction with an office copier. Some libraries have this on disc with printer.

True buffs may buy a CD-ROM with everything for $25. Phone the Superintendent of Documents, 202-512-1800, or by fax, 202-512-2250, and order Publication 1796, Federal Tax Forms.

And finally, anyone accessing the Internet can hit the IRS home page: http:

www.irs.ustreas.gov and download.

Traditionalists and the innovation-challenged, coveting tangible paper and the possibility of inspection before choice, beyond the basic forms available in banks, must still walk through metal detectors and show photo-ID in a federal office building. Tradition, at a price.

Pub Date: 2/22/97

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