The paper describes a simple, efficient and reasonably accurate analytical model for analysis of backfill-rectangular tank-fluid interaction systems. The presented model uses Housner's two-mass approximation for fluid interaction and mass-spring-dashpot system for backfill interaction and accommodates a variety of features that may affect the behavior of rectangular tanks including fluid volume, backfill geometry, soil properties and flexible/rigid wall types. Unlike the conventional finite element and the finite difference models that require considerable effort and knowledge to prepare the input data, the proposed model requires only a few pieces of data to define the problem and control the analysis. A series of finite element simulations were also fulfilled on two real rectangular tanks subjected to backfill and fluid effects. A reasonably good accord was obtained comparing the analytical predictions to results from numerical simulations. Thus, it can be stated that the model may be used effectively to perform a broad suite of parametric studies at the design stage and also as a reliable tool for estimating the system behavior. The results obtained from parametric seismic analyses indicated that backfill interaction, wall flexibility and fluid interaction considerably affect the lateral displacements. The sloshing response, however, was not practically affected by the backfill interaction and the wall flexibility. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.