An effective macroscopic model of magnetorheological fluids in the viscoelastic regime is proposed. Under the application of an external magnetic field, columns of magnetizable particles are formed in these systems. The columns are responsible for solidlike properties, such as the existence of elastic shear modulus and yield stress, and are captured by the strain field, while magnetic properties are described by the magnetization. We investigate the interplay of these variables when static shear or normal pressure is imposed in the presence of the external magnetic field. By assuming a relaxing strain field, we calculate the flow curves, i.e., the shear stress as a function of the imposed shear rate, for different values of the applied magnetic field. Focusing on the small amplitude oscillatory shear, we study the complex shear modulus, i.e., the storage and the loss moduli, as a function of the frequency. We demonstrate that already such a minimal model is capable of furnishing many of the key physical features of these systems, such as yield stress, enhancement of the shear yield stress by pressure, threshold behavior in the spirit of the frequently employed Bingham law, and several features in the frequency dependence of storage and loss moduli.