Fast synaptic inhibition in the brain is largely mediated by GABA(A) receptors. These ligand-gated ion channels are crucial in the control of cell and network activity. Therefore, modulating their function or cell surface stability will have major consequences for neuronal excitation. It has become clear that the stability and activity of GABA(A) receptors at synapses can be dynamically modulated by receptor trafficking and phosphorylation. Here, we discuss these regulatory mechanisms, and their consequences for the efficacy of GABA(A) receptor mediated synaptic inhibition.