If you work directly with students and they pay you directly, you are self-employed. There is no “middleman” involved in the agreement and no one is collecting FICA payments. You are providing tutoring services directly to your students and they are paying the fees to you and not to a third party. The following tips are specific to private tutoring.
I have been tutoring through many different platforms, such as Varsity Tutors, WyZant, Thumbtack, and also directly for clients through referrals and word of mouth. Webster's defines “guardian” as a person employed to instruct another, especially. In private. California Wage Order 15 says that a “guardian can be considered a domestic worker, along with other staff members, such as maids.
It's not about the tutor pouring the knowledge into the student's head, but rather that the tutor breaks down the material into small pieces so that the student can process and consume it, as well as providing an additional explanation for any confusing or difficult concepts. Some experienced agency tutors may obtain employment contracts when families seek a guardian for a long period of time. Hourly rates can vary significantly depending on a number of factors, including the subject where you are teaching, the level at which you are teaching, your experience and qualifications, where you live (rates tend to be higher in London and other cities where the cost of living is higher), the frequency of classes, required preparation, travel expenses and travel time. Although you usually work alone, there is a lot of advice and support online through online centers and The Tutors' Association, the professional membership body for tutoring and the wider further education sector.
To further complicate matters, the IRS Domestic Employer Tax Guide does not treat the guardian as a domestic employee, even when tutoring is done at home. And limiting the guardian to a handful of hours per week doesn't make the guardian an independent contractor; it may simply make her the parents' part-time employee. A tutor with less mentoring experience, even if fully qualified as a tutor, may find it difficult to maintain a high rate from the start.