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I'm starting to tutor several students. I will be getting paid.

Congratulations! And you will be incurring income tax as a result (both federal and state)

I guess I need to know how to handle taxes on this income.

It's self-employment income. You are responsible for paying income tax, social security and medicare taxes, and the employer portion of social security and medicare taxes (these are referred to as "self-employment taxes).

know most often other tutors I've talked to have considered this pretty much under the table

Then they're violating tax law and if the IRS find out about it, the tutors are in trouble. (The IRS has a tip line if you are feeling vindictive)

one parent has just asked me how to handle taxes, if he needs to report anything.

Unless you by some fluke qualify for the "household employee" criterion (extremely unlikely) the parent doesn't need to do anything. If s/he wants to s/he can ask you for a W-9 to get your SSN, then use the W9 to fill out a 1099 and file it with the IRS, but that's not required. Taxes are the independent contractor's (your) responsibility.
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