Whew. Talk about a formidable organization to battle, HYDRA and SPECTRE have nothing on the Treasury Department.
First, this amusing page from the Warren black & white reprint series. From THE SPIRIT# 4, October 1974, Will Eisner interviews Commissioner Dolan with results that leave them both fuming. The Spirit's origin of course has him seemingly killed by a Mad Science serum that actually only put him in suspended animation. (I've sometimes wondered if the effects of this serum explain how the Spirit can bounce back so cheerfully from the dozens of beating and gunshots he survives over the following decade.) It's melodramatic enough, the idea that Denny Colt revives later and digs his way out of his coffin. But, as Eisner hints, there are problems with it. For one thing, a death like that would require an autopsy (which would REALLY make it difficult for Colt to wake up later). Even without an autopsy being peformed, just having his blood replaced by embalming fluid would be inconvenient.
Then we have two pages from "Taxes & the Spirit", April 16 1950. Being a mysterious masked vigilante is a wish-fulfilment fantasy that really only works if you don't think about the practical problems. The Spirit can lurk about dark streets and underworld dives and gangster hide-outs, that's fine. He doesn't have to identify himself beyond the obvious. But when he relaxes enough to show up ar high society events or hang around Dolan's house after dinner, he becomes a public figure. It follows then that he's subject to all the laws and conditions the rest of us must meet.There's some interesting questions raised here. Can a person be legally dead? I suppose it could happen, if you were lost at sea or a burned body was identified as you. But unless you cleared it up, you could be considered guilty of fraud (especially if you were allowing your status to remain cloudy to avoid prosecution or legal responsibilities). There's also the matter of walking around in public masked and using a false name. Denny Colt didn't go to court and apply to have his name changed to "The Spirit," he just started calling himself that.