Since this original post was from 2006, I was
wondering if you still recommend that she
seek the advice of a tax attorney, or is
there anything I can do as an attorney to
assist, without violating any laws or rules
Particularly if this is a large award, she would be well served in seeing a tax attorney. She will need to pay the tax on the award, but the details of her situation matter in how much she'll have to pay. If there are options in terms of payment, like lump-sum vs. annual payments, that needs to be considered as one may provide a better tax result than another. Particularly since she wants to leave the country, there are some unique tax issues that may triggered because of Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 877 and other provisions may impose effectively an exit tax for her on the way out. So, she ought to see a tax attorney well versed in the U.S. taxation of foreign persons. It is still the case that the IRS cannot on its own inform ICE of her immigration issues due to the disclosure restrictions in IRC § 6103. Instead, the IRS can only provide the information to ICE if ICE makes the proper request for the information, and of course it would have to already know of her potential immigration problem and have reason to believe the IRS would have records that might be pertinent to that.
As to whether the Florida lottery officials themselves will notify ICE, as I said in that earlier post, I don't know the answer to that one. I don't practice in FL and don't have any familiarity with the lottery winning process. It might notify ICE, but then again it might not want to do that because it may not want scare off illegal immigrants from buying lottery tickets given the amount of revenue the lottery provides to the state.
As for advising your client, one possible approach to consider here may be that she moves back to the foreign country first and then give you the power of attorney to collect it on her behalf after she's left. At least then, even if ICE is notified, she need not worry that ICE will pick her up and detain her for deportation proceedings. If she has any thoughts to return to the U.S. in the future, though, an immigration attorney ought to be consulted to ensure that she won't end up with a bar to reentry when all the dust settles.